Australia hold on for Test draw
Tuesday 08 December 2009
Australia held on to claim a battling draw against West Indies in the second Test in Adelaide.
The visitors had Ricky Ponting's side on the back foot but were unable to press home their advantage as Australia, chasing 330 for an unlikely win, reached 212 for five when stumps were drawn.
Dwayne Bravo led the Windies' victory charge, the all-rounder taking three for 37.
The hosts lost two quick wickets after tea and from that point were under siege with Windies captain Chris Gayle surrounding the batsmen with close-in fielders while the side's medium pacers were in action.
But Michael Clarke (61 not out) and Brad Haddin (20no) shared in an anxious but unbeaten 73-run partnership and importantly occupied the crease for 85 minutes to guide Australia to safety.
Bravo was the tourists' best bowler while Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy took a wicket each. First-innings destroyers Sulieman Benn and Kemar Roach couldn't repeat those efforts when the team needed them.
Australia retain the Frank Worrell Trophy but the West Indies earned plenty of respect over the past five days and will head to the WACA in Perth with a belief they can level the series.
The final session started poorly for Australia with Mike Hussey's luck running out on 29 after he nicked a Bravo delivery through to Denesh Ramdin.
Marcus North fell to a similar delivery for two soon after with the left-hander tempted into a drive and edging a delivery through to Ramnaresh Sarwan in the slips.
Clarke and Haddin came together at 4.16pm local time and found themselves in a pressure cooker environment with half a dozen fielders only metres away.
They played and missed at times, especially off Roach, but the longer they survived the more comfortable they looked.
Clarke took advantage of the attacking field to hit three boundaries in a row of Benn to race to his half century and beyond.
Australia lost two wickets in the second session with the runs drying up.
Ponting and Shane Watson survived a mid-pitch mix-up but Ponting didn't last much longer - the captain playing on, attempting a cut shot, off Rampaul for 20.
Watson and Hussey had a steady partnership of 46, apart from a run-out scare for Hussey, before the blonde opener lost his wicket for 48.
Watson miscued a pull shot off Sammy and was dismissed through some great fielding by Bravo. The Windies all-rounder dived forward and to his left to take a difficult catch on the leg side.
In the morning, the tourists added 33 runs off seven overs to their overnight score before being bowled out for 317.
Captain Chris Gayle finished with an unbeaten 165 off 285 balls, striking 16 boundaries during his seven-hour stint at the crease. He is the first West Indies captain and only the fourth West Indian player to carry his bat through the innings.
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