ROSEAU, Dominica (AFP) –
Michael Clarke took five wickets as Australia won the third and final Test against West Indies by 75 runs at Windsor Park on Friday.
West Indies fought to the end with captain Darren Sammy, with 61, and last man Shane Shillingford, on 31 not out, hitting their highest Test scores.
After resuming on 173 for five, West Indies were bowled out for 294 just before lunch to give Australia a 2-0 series win.
They had won the first Test in Barbados by three wickets while the second match in Trinidad was a rain-hit draw.
“It’s been a long summer, and today tops it off. It has been a lot of hard work, West Indies pushed us hard,” said Clarke.
“We probably didn’t expect the ball to turn as much as it did in Dominica. It has been a great effort from the whole team, I think a lot of credit goes to Matthew Wade, his century here won us the match.”
Sammy admitted his team’s batting has to improve with a three-Test tour of England looming.
“For the last year, our batting has been letting us down,” he said. “But the future looks good for West Indies, we just need to continue what we have been doing.”
Clarke, who has won nine and drawn three of his 14 Tests as captain, took five wickets in an innings for only the second time in his career, the last being a sensational six for nine in Mumbai in 2004.
Australia started the final day with spin from both ends.
Nathan Lyon found the edge twice in the first over but the ball eluded the close fielders each time.
It didn’t take too long for the first breakthrough of the day and it was Australia’s captain that struck again.
Clarke had taken three wickets during Thursday afternoon, including the important one of man-of-the-series Shivnarine Chanderpaul with the last ball of the day.
A cloud of dust went up when Narsingh Deonarine played at a full length ball and it ended up back in Clarke’s hands and the Australians appealed for a caught and bowled.
It took several replays for television umpire Ian Gould to come to a decision after the on-field umpires referred it to him.
In the end it looked as though the ball had hit the ground just before the bat and Deonarine was gone.
Sammy decided to play using his natural technique and the fourth ball that he faced was smashed back over Lyon’s head for a straight six.
Lyon took his first wicket of the innings thanks, largely, to an excellent catch by Ricky Ponting at mid-wicket.
Sammy then decided to attack even more and the first four balls of Clarke’s next over went for 17 runs.
Australia used up their last review when they thought that Kemar Roach had offered a bat-pad chance off Lyon before he had scored.
Replays showed that the ball had missed the bat and had hit the pad outside the line so there was no lbw either.
The ball seemed to be gravitating towards Clarke and it happened again in Lyon’s next over.
Roach got an edge to a Lyon off-spinner and the Australian captain took a sensational catch, diving to his left at first slip and holding the ball just above the ground.
West Indies still needed 136 to win with just two wickets left to fall.
Clarke’s bowling was taking a pounding from Sammy but he still backed himself and it paid off when Ravi Rampaul, having just hit him for a six over mid-wicket, went for another big blow.
The ball went high in the air to mid-on where David Warner judged it expertly as Clarke claimed his fifth wicket.
Shane Shillingford joined Sammy for the last wicket.
When he hit Lyon for three consecutive fours Clarke decided it was time to take the new ball.
Four balls later and Sammy brought up his fifty, the second of his Test career, which included three boundaries and three towering sixes.
Sammy and Shillingford added 49 for the last wicket when Clarke turned once again to the spin of Lyon.
With just his third ball, Sammy got a top-edge to a sweep and Ben Hilfenhaus took an easy catch at short fine leg to bring victory and some relief to Australia.