Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Heavy rain forces a draw in second Test

AFP, PORT OF SPAIN

The West Indies’ Darren Sammy, left, hits a four while Australian wicketkeeper Peter Nevill watches the ball on the final day of the second Test between Australia and the West Indies on Thursday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Photo: AFP

Australia retained their two-decade grip on the Frank Worrell Trophy when heavy rain meant the second Test against the West Indies petered out into a draw on Thursday.

The disappointing end came just when the home side were cranking up their pursuit of a 215-run victory target at the Queen’s Park Oval.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke had declared his team’s second innings at 160 for eight early in the afternoon, leaving the West Indies with a minimum 61 overs to force a result and level the three-game series.

However, after reaching 53 for two off 11 overs, the umpires led the teams off as bad light and heavy rain, which had restricted Wednesday’s action to just 30.4 overs, returned.

“I think it was going to be a good final day if the rain stayed away,” said Clarke, whose team won the first Test in Barbados.

“It was disappointing for both teams and the fans. It’s going to be a tough fight in Dominica [where the final Test starts on Monday], because we played inconsistent cricket here,” he added.

In an effort to win the game, West Indies captain Darren Sammy switched his batting order, moving Kieran Powell to open and placing himself at No. 3.

Australian seamer Ben Hilfenhaus soon had the West Indies rocking, trapping Powell LBW for just 4 in his second over and the decision stood, despite another wasted review by the home side.

Sammy, himself, then came to the crease.

However, Hilfenhaus had both openers back in the dressing room just two overs later, when he produced a beautiful outswinger that took the edge of Adrian Barath’s bat and the catch was taken by Clarke at first slip.

That left the West Indies on 13 for two.

Sammy, though, still had his sights firmly set on a win and launched into an attack on Hilfenhaus, striking him for two boundaries and a six over long-off.

He reached 30 not out from 26 balls, with his team still needing another 162 runs to win, when the weather intervened.

“We were going after the runs. We lost two wickets, but we had Shiv [Chanderpaul] and Narsinh [Deonarine] in the end. We made a positive statement. We looked at it as a one-day scenario,” Sammy said.

During the morning the unlucky Fidel Edwards finally took his first wicket of the match in his 10th over of the second innings.

A short ball to Ricky Ponting had him playing one of his favorite hook shots, but he failed to keep the ball down.

It went straight to Powell on the square-leg boundary and Ponting was gone for 41 off 85 balls, an innings which featured three fours.

The highlight of the morning came in Sammy’s second over.

He had dropped a sitter at first slip earlier in the innings, but now took an excellent catch off his own bowling to remove his opposite number, Clarke.

The delivery seemed to stop a bit off the pitch and Clarke was through the stroke a little early before Sammy thrust out his right hand to take the chance.

Mike Hussey and Matthew Wade took Australia through to lunch at 123 for five, with a lead of 177, before the pace was stepped up after the interval.

West Indies paceman Kemar Roach took two more wickets to give him his second five-wicket haul in the match as he finished with 5-41.

He became the first West Indies bowler to take 10 wickets in a match since 2005 and not since 1993 has it been achieved by the home side against Australia.

Before play started, it was announced that Australia fast bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson would be returning home with back injuries.

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