Cricket: Australians tie up victory

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Australia 303 & 306 West Indies 222 & 211 Australia win by 176 runs Four-Test series drawn 2-2

DESPITE A dogged innings of 56 from the opener Adrian Griffith, Australia ran through the West Indian tail-end batsmen to win the fourth and final Test by 176 runs here yesterday. The tourists retain the Frank Worrell Trophy by drawing the series 2-2.

The Australians took two wickets during the morning session to reduce the West Indies, set a daunting target of 388, to 158 for 6 at lunch.

Resuming at 105 for 4, the West Indies were quickly in deeper trouble when Jimmy Adams, their main hope of holding out for a draw, was dismissed without a single run being added.

Colin Miller, who bowls both medium pace and spin and was called up in place of the leg-spinner Shane Warne, utilised his off-spin to have Adams smartly stumped by Ian Healy for 18.

Griffith and Ridley Jacobs added 40 to see off Australia's mainstream attack and it was the occasional bowler Greg Blewett who made the next breakthrough, trapping Jacobs leg-before for 16 for his second wicket of the innings.

Nehemiah Perry and Griffith survived until the lunch interval but the opener, who had retired hurt on Tuesday before resuming his innings, was dismissed leg-before by the leg-spinner Stuart MacGill for 56.

Perry hit out and reached 26 before he was caught by Michael Slater off MacGill. The rest of the tail did not resist for long. Curtly Ambrose was bowled by MacGill for four while Corey Collymore was caught by the leg-spinner off Glenn McGrath for six.

Australia's only setback of the day came off the field when McGrath was fined 30 per-cent of his match fee for bringing the game into disrepute over an incident at the end of Tuesday's play. He was severely reprimanded by the match referee, Raman Subba Row, for spitting on the pitch after bowling the last ball of the day.

It was accepted that McGrath did not spit at Griffith, as the home team had complained, but Subba Row said that spitting of any sort would not be condoned.

On Tuesday evening, McGrath had won the final round of his intriguing duel with Brian Lara, the West Indian captain.

Lara, whose spectacular batting exploits had earned West Indies an unexpected 2-1 lead in the four-match series, fell leg before to the combative McGrath for just seven.

McGrath's high quality pace bowling had earlier in the evening brought him the wicket of the opener Sherwin Campbell. He also removed Griffith from the action when the opener was forced to retire hurt after being struck a painful blow on the point of the elbow by a lifting McGrath delivery.

Lara and McGrath have been the two sides' outstanding performers in an absorbing series. Despite the failure in his final innings, Lara averaged 91 from 546 runs. McGrath finished with 30 wickets, falling three short of the total he needed to become Australia's leading wicket-taker in a series against the West Indies. Clarrie Grimmett and Alan Davidson hold the record with 33 in a five-Test series.

Final day; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 303 (S R Waugh 72, J L Langer 51; C E L Ambrose 5-94).

WEST INDIES - First Innings 222 (B C Lara 100).

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings 306 (J L Langer 127, M E Waugh 65).

WEST INDIES - Second Innings

(Overnight: 105 for 4)

A F G Griffith lbw b MacGill 56

J C Adams st Healy b Miller 18

R D Jacobs lbw b Blewett 16

N O Perry c Slater b MacGill 26

C E L Ambrose b MacGill 4

C D Collymore c MacGill b McGrath 6

C A Walsh not out 0

Extras (b5, lb12, nb3) 20

Total (102.5 overs) 211

Fall (cont): 5-105, 6-145, 7-184, 8-190, 9-209.

Bowling: McGrath 35-15-50-3; Dale 12-5-28-1; MacGill 26-8-83-3, Miller 21-10-27-1, Blewett 8-3-9-2.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and D L Orchard (SA).