Wednesday 4th May, 2008


Sarwan, Chanders take Windies to draw

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ST JOHN’S—Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan hit 128 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul an unbeaten 77 to pilot West Indies to a draw against Australia in the second cricket test on the final day yesterday.

West Indies, facing an unlikely winning target of 372 to win, chose to try and bat through the entire fifth day and finished on 266 for five at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Australia scored 479 for seven declared and overnight declared at 244 for six, and West Indies made 352 and 266 for five.

Despite the West Indian defiance, Australia retained the Frank Worrell Trophy it has held since 1995 with an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Sarwan and fellow Guyanese Chanderpaul shared a vital fourth-wicket stand of 143 that steadied the innings from early peril at 84 for three.

Sarwan struck 18 fours and one six on his way to his 11th test century, which spanned 241 balls and five and a half hours.

Chanderpaul, who hit an unbeaten 107 in the first innings, struck eight fours off 180 balls in 287 minutes. The 33-year-old was named man of the match.

Brett Lee led the Aussies with three for 51 and earned career-best match figures of eight for 110. There was a wicket apiece for fellow pacers Stuart Clark (one for 22) and Mitchell Johnson (one for 70).

Lee and Clark removed both West Indies openers inside the first hour to buoy the visitors’ winning pursuit.

Devon Smith was softened up by a blow to the shoulder from a Lee bouncer and soon sparred a catch to gully in the same over without scoring.

Clark produced a wicked lifter to claim Xavier Marshall (5) to a catch by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

At 19 for two, Sarwan and Runako Morton rebuilt the innings with a spirited stand of 65.

Sarwan, positive in attack and defense, brought up his half century off 68 balls with his eighth four.

Morton (14) fell to Lee’s first delivery of his second spell as Australia again seized the initiative just before lunch. The right-hander was trapped plumb in front by a fast inswinger.

Sarwan and Chanderpaul defied the Aussies after the break and guided West Indies to a sound position of 161 for three at tea.

There was one moment of anxiety for Sarwan during the session when he survived a tight stumping appeal off Stuart MacGill when on 92. TV umpire Norman Malcolm ruled in the batsman’s favor.

Sarwan arrived at his century in the final over before the break, slapping his 14th boundary off MacGill, who retired after the match.

The pair seemed set to bat through the day but the second new ball breathed new life into the match.

Left-armer Johnson’s first delivery claimed the breakthrough as Sarwan fended to gully where Michael Hussey pouched an easy catch at 227 for four.

Lee sent shivers down the home team when he removed Dwayne Bravo three overs later. Bravo tried to nudge a short ball to leg but deflected a catch to backward point off the leading edge.

It left West Indies a nervous last 13.5 overs to negotiate but Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin (21 not out) ensured the draw with an unbroken stand of 30.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting conceded the draw with three overs remaining.

The teams now enjoy an eight-day break before the third test begins in Barbados on June 12.

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