Shane Watson hit 52 and Michael Hussey made a crucial 32 off 26 balls as Australia earned a thrilling three-wicket victory over the West Indies in fading light on Wednesday on the fifth and final day of the opening Test at Kensington Oval.
Australia was set 192 to win in the final two sessions and got a solid start,but late wickets produced some nervous moments before a scampered single took them to 192 for 7 and earned a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. I think full credit has to go to our bowlers,not only the way they batted in our first innings but the way they came out and bowled in the West Indies second innings as well, Australian skipper Michael Clarke said. No doubt that went a long way towards us winning the game.
Off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine gave the West Indies hope with 4 for 53 while fast bowler Kemar Roach took 2 for 45. Earlier,the West Indies was bowled out for 148 on the stroke of lunch after resuming on 71 for 5. Roach provided the main resistance with a stubborn 25. Ben Hilfenhaus,who started the West Indies slide on Day Four,ended with 4 for 27 while fellow pacer Ryan Harris took 3 for 31. Australias target was 192 off 63 overs but once heavy rain delayed the restart after lunch,it was always going to be a fight against time and light,rather than overs.
The visitors enjoyed some luck as David Warner had two inside edged boundaries just past the stumps off Roach as he and Ed Cowan added 31 for the first wicket. Roach had two very close lbw appeals against Watson turned down,both by umpire Tony Hill and the Decision Review System. Watson also survived a sharp gully catch to Sammy off Roach when 5.
After tea,Australia showed urgency,with Watson dominating a second-wicket stand of 75 with Cowan. Deonarine brought the hosts back into it with four top-order wickets in quick time. At 140 for 5,the match was in the balance even as the sun started to dip in the west. But Hussey provided much needed momentum,including two early reverse sweeps for boundaries.
There was late drama as Roach returned to claim Matthew Wade (18) and Hussey,but Harris and Hilfenhaus took Australia to victory.
Brief scores: West Indies: 449 for 9 decl & 148 lost to Australia 406 for 9 decl & 192 for 7 in 47 overs (Ed Cowan 34,Shane Watson 52,Michael Hussey 32; Roach 2/45,Deonarine 4/53)