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Stuart Clark’s 5-wkt haul destroys West Indies’ dream

Related Links : Australia’s Tour of West Indies 2008 Scorecard

A clinical performance from the Australian bowlers on the final day ensured a 95-run comfortable victory for the visitors in the opening test at Sabina Park. The up and down Kingston wicket was tailor-made for the nagging accuracy of Stuart Clark, who ripped apart the West Indian batting line-up along with Brett Lee. Stuart Clark was the Man of the Match for taking 8 for 91 in the match.

The morning session was the critical one for both the sides. The session would have given clear indications mostly on which of the two teams would go onto win the match. At the start of play, the match was well balanced with Windies at 46 for 1 and requiring another 241 for a win. The crowd at the Sabina Park were in for a major disappointment in the first hour itself as West Indies slipped to an unrecoverable 82 for 6 in the 36th over of the innings. Both Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the two dangerous players for the Aussies were back in the pavilion cheaply. It was a Clark-Lee show on a pitch that needed plenty of application from the batsmen to survive.

On either side of the morning session and the afternoon session, there was a tiny fight put up by Windies in form of Denesh Ramdin (36 from 61 balls with 5 fours) and Darren Sammy (35 from 80 balls with 6 fours). But it was only going to be a 77-run stand that would delay the inevitable by about 20 more overs. There was just a glimmer of hope for West Indies to pull off a miracle when these two hung in there for a considerable amount of time. The end of this partnership came when Ramdin got run out. There was a contribution of 27 with 6 fours from Daren Powell which reduced the margin of defeat to under a hundred.

Leg Spinner Stuart Clark finished the match taking the last two wickets which included an umpiring blunder towards the end. Last man Amit Jaggernauth was given out caught bat pad although he never had hit the ball. West Indies were all out for 191 in 67 overs with Stuart Clark ending with mean figures of 20-8-32-5. Brett Lee played his part with the wickets of Morton and Chanderpaul.