Aussies thump Windies by 177 runs to claim series
Australia beat the West Indies by 177 runs in the second Test to win the series and retain the Frank Worrell Trophy in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The Australians, who won the first Test in Hobart by an innings and 212 runs, dismissed the Caribbean tourists for 282 late on the fourth day after declaring their second innings on 179 for three with a 459-run lead.
The tourists were 146 for four at tea and despite a spirited 100-run stand for the sixth wicket between skipper Jason Holder and former captain Denesh Ramdin they quickly lost their remaining four wickets to crash to defeat 1.3 overs before the scheduled close.
Holder was out for 68 off 86 balls, while Ramdin chipped in with 59 off 90 balls in his best Test score for two years.
Spinner Nathan Lyon was named man of the match with seven match wickets while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh finished with four for 61 in the second innings.
“I thought our energy, intent and all that in the field was probably as good as it’s been this summer,” Australia skipper Steve Smith said.
“‘Lyono’ did what he’s done so well for us this summer, got wickets for us at crucial times. he’s bowled beautifully.”
The final Test of the three-Test series gets under way in Sydney on Sunday.
For a time Ramdin and Holder held the Australians at bay with a robust partnership until Ramdin was caught behind by Peter Nevill off Marsh.
He shared in a 100-run stand with Holder to resist the Aussies for 21 overs. It was the first century partnership of the series for the embattled Windies.
“I’m obviously proud of the way the guys showed some fight in this game,” Holder said.
“I’m still disappointed we didn’t put up a better fight but still credit to the way the guys played, especially Darren Bravo in the first innings and Denesh Ramdin in the second innings. I thought the bowlers tried (too).”
“A better effort in this game.” Carlos Brathwaite could not back up his 59 in the first innings and was bowled by Lyon for two, the ball barely clipping the top of the off-stump.
Skipper Holder’s resistance ended in the final overs of the day as he drove Marsh straight to Josh Hazlewood at mid-off.
The wickets quickly tumbled. Kemar Roach went for 11 and Jerome Taylor was last man out for a duck after skying Marsh to a sprawling Pattinson at fine leg.
The last time the West Indies batted for more than 80 overs in both innings of an overseas Test was against England at Lord’s in May 2012.
Yet despite their improved resistance the West Indies have yet to pass 300 in eight Test innings against Australia this year.
Australia dismissed Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika and Marlon Samuels after lunch.
Bravo, the first-innings top-scorer with 81, was caught behind off Peter Siddle for 21, and Chandrika’s 130-ball vigil ended when he was trapped leg before wicket to Pattinson for 37.
Senior batsman Samuels continued his dismal tour when he prodded at Marsh and was snapped up by Nevill for 19.
Australia’s no-ball wicket curse had earlier continued when Bravo survived on 12 after he was given out caught behind only to be saved by a front-foot no-ball by Hazlewood.
Pattinson had two wickets denied to him for overstepping on Sunday’s third day, and to Australia’s frustration it was the wicket-less Hazlewood’s turn on day four.
Skipper Smith declared on Australia’s overnight second innings total of 179 for three setting the Windies a massive 460 runs to win over two days.
The Australians removed Kraigg Brathwaite in the 12th over for 31 when he was coaxed to cut Lyon only to be snapped up by Smith at slip.
Smith remained 70 not out when he made the declaration at the start of the fourth day and finished 2015 with most Test runs of 1,474 at 73.70.
Only Joe Root (1,372) was in a position, in England’s current Test match against South Africa in Durban, to overtake him in the final Test of the year.