Australia beats West Indies by 177 runs to claim series win

‘Disappointed we didn’t put up a better fight. But credit to the way the guys played’, says Windies captain Jason Holder

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh claimed four wickets as Australia defeated a defiant West Indies to claim a 177-run win on Tuesday in the second Test to retain the Frank Worrell Trophy.

Captain Jason Holder and Denesh Ramdin both scored half-centuries and shared an aggressive 100-run partnership to highlight a gritty batting performance for the West Indies after Australia declared on its overnight score of 179-3.

Chasing the unlikely target of 460, the West Indies batted patiently in the early stages and went to tea on 146-4. The Test seemed destined for a fifth day, but Marsh (4-61) sparked a collapse midway through the evening session when he had Ramdin caught behind for 59.

“I was really happy with the way Mitchell Marsh bowled. He was pretty impressive today bowling consistently over 140 kilometers per hour and guess really helped out the team in the end,” Australia captain Steven Smith said.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took a wicket in each session to finish with figures of 3-85 as the West Indies were bowled out for 282.

“I was glad with the way we finished off,” Smith said. “[Lyons] did what he’s done so well this summer. He got crucial wickets for us at crucial times and he’s bowled beautifully.”

After Kraigg Brathwaite (31) provided the only wicket of the morning session, the Australian bowlers took three hard-fought wickets in the afternoon session against a West Indies top order that showed far greater determination than in the first innings, when the visitors collapsed to 91-6.

“I was proud of the way the guys showed some fight and skill,” captain Jason Holder said. “I’m disappointed we didn’t put up a better fight. But still credit to the way the guys played.”

Peter Siddle had Darren Bravo caught behind for 21 with a fullish outswinging delivery and Rajendra Chandrika opened up and played his shots before falling lbw to James Pattinson for a test career-best 37.

Marlon Samuels, who took 16 balls to get off the mark, was caught behind for 19 off Marsh.

Lyon claimed his second dismissal in the second over after tea when he trapped Jermaine Blackwood lbw for 20, before Ramdin and Holder combined to frustrate the Australian attack.

Marsh finally broke through with the wicket of Ramdin (59) who smashed nine boundaries from his 90 balls.

Lyon struck again to dismiss Carlos Brathwaite for 2 when his in-swinging delivery brushed the top of off—stump to dislodge the bail and Holder ended his gutsy innings at 68 when he spooned a Marsh ball to Josh Hazlewood at mid-off.

Kemar Roach was out three balls later for 11, caught at third slip by David Warner off Pattinson.

“Our guys need to cherish these moments and come up trumps in these kinds of games,” Holder said. “These are obviously big games and big occasions, and these are things our players can really strive to do.”

Australia won the opening test in Hobart by an innings and 212 runs. The third and final test begins Sunday in Sydney.

“The West Indies were up for the fight this game,” Smith said. “They improved quite a lot from the last match and hopefully they can continue to show that fight in Sydney.”

Australia’s hopes of a quick victory were hit by another instance of sloppy bowling when Bravo edged a ball to slip just before lunch only for replays to show Hazelwood overstepped. It was the third time in the match the West Indies had benefited from a similar no ball.

James Pattinson squandered two dismissals of Carlos Brathwaite due to no balls Monday to significantly prolong the West Indies innings and deny Australia a possible three-day victory.