West Indies secure record-breaking victory

Australia 240 & 417 West Indies 240 & 418-7 West Indies win by 3 wickets

The West Indies completed what, in every other regard, was Test cricket's most remarkable victory yesterday, reaching a winning total never before achieved in a fourth innings to defeat Australia by three wickets in the fourth and final Test.

The West Indies completed what, in every other regard, was Test cricket's most remarkable victory yesterday, reaching a winning total never before achieved in a fourth innings to defeat Australia by three wickets in the fourth and final Test.

Trounced in the previous three Tests by the game's most powerful and intimidating opponents and with a team including six players under 24, they overhauled the 418 they were set for an unlikely win that prevented the ignominy of their first whitewash in a home series.

Don Bradman's Australia, with 404 for 3 against England at Headingley in 1948, and India, with 406 for 4 against the West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 1976, are the only other teams to win by scoring more than 400.

The West Indies captain, Brian Lara, rated it "the greatest cricketing experience of my life", placing it above his Test record score of 375 here against England in 1994 and his unbeaten 153 that led the West Indies to a one-wicket win over Australia four years ago.

The West Indies' triumph was set up on the previous day by Ramnaresh Sarwan's 105 and his partnerships of 91 with Lara and 123 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. But it was only consummated by an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 46 yesterday between Omari Banks, a tall 20-year-old from tiny Anguilla in his second Test, and Vasbert Drakes, a 33-year-old veteran who spent seven years playing in South Africa and England.

Before a boisterous crowd of over 6,000, the biggest of the match, divided between jumping, flag-waving West Indians and hundreds of visiting Australian fans, the balance shifted towards Australia off the first ball of Brett Lee's third over of the day. Delivered from round the wicket, it drew the left-handed Chanderpaul into a defensive stroke and found the edge on its way through to the wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

Chanderpaul added a single to his overnight 103 and his early exit seemed a match-winning wicket for Australia. But they did not get another.

Banks started the day on 28 and carried on providing Drakes with the level-headed support he had given Chanderpaul in a vital partnership of 84.

Australia's captain, Steve Waugh, used Lee for only four overs before turning to the leg-spinner Stuart MacGill with the West Indies still needing 27. Banks cut him past second slip for four before Drakes hoisted him on to the roof of the Andy Roberts Stand at mid-wicket to raise the 400 and further deflate an Australian team that showed unexpected vulnerability once under attack.

Final day of five; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA – First Innings 240 (J J C Lawson 7-78)

WEST INDIES – First Innings 240 (B C Lara 68)

AUSTRALIA – Second Innings 417 (M L Hayden 177, J L Langer 111; M Dillon 4-112).

WEST INDIES – Second Innings Overnight: 371-6.
S Chanderpaul c Gilchrist b Lee 104
O A C Banks not out 47
V C Drakes not out 27
Extras (b9 lb9 w1 nb6) 25
Total (for 7, 128.5 overs) 418

Fall (contd): 7-372

Did not bat: M Dillon, J J C Lawson.

Bowling: McGrath 25-10-50-1; Gillespie 25-10-64-1; Lee 23-4-63-4; MacGill 35.5-8-149-1; Bichel 15-3-49-0; S R Waugh 5-0-25-0.

Man of the match: S Chanderpaul.

Man of the series: R Ponting.

Umpires: D R Shepherd (Eng) and S Venkataraghavan (Ind).

HIGHEST TEST-WINNING FOURTH-INNINGS TOTALS

418 for 7 West Indies bt Australia Antigua, May 2003
406 for 4 India bt West Indies Port of Spain, April 1976
404 for 3 Australia bt England Headingley, July 1948
369 for 6 Australia bt Pakistan Hobart, November 1999
362 for 7 Australia bt West Indies Georgetown, March 1978
348 for 5 West Indies bt New Zealand Auckland, February 1969
344 for 1 West Indies bt England Lord's, June 1984
342 for 8 Australia bt India Perth, December 1977
340 for 5 South Africa bt Australia Durban, March 2002
336 for 5 Australia bt South Africa Durban, January 1949
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