Shiv and Sarwan save Windies
Batting partnership helps Windies to fight off Aussie attack.
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 03/06/08 11:09pm
Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul fended off Australia's best efforts to draw the second Test in Antigua, the first stalemate between the two sides since 1995.
Although the result means the tourists retain the Frank Worrell Trophy, the West Indies side will be happy with the way they kept the visitors at bay despite some sticky patches.
The Aussies were always gunning for the victory after their overnight declaration, and after a terrible start Sarwan and Chanderpaul battled manfully to restore the innings with a match-saving partnership of 143.
Sarwan made 128 in the end but his dismissal sparked a late scare as Brett Lee came steaming in dangerously looking to add to his two early wickets and one late breakthrough.
Chanderpaul was 77 not out as he steered the West Indies home to a good draw in the end though - the first draw in the fixture in 24 games.
It had all looked very dangerous for the West Indies earlier in the day, when they took to the crease after Australia had declared on their overnight score of 244-6.
That left the hosts chasing an improbable 372 for victory and more likely the entire final day to bat out a draw - but even that looked in doubt after a shaky opening.
Devon Smith flashed at a quick Lee delivery and Mike Hussey took a smart catch in the gully and the opener departed for a duck with just four runs on the board.
Stuart Clark then produced a beauty that reared up off a length to catch the edge of Xavier Marshall's bat and suddenly the Windies were toiling at 19-2.
Runako Morton had made 14 when Lee rifled in a devilish in-swinger to trap him lbw, with the score now on 84-3 and Australia sniffing another victory.
Chanderpaul and Sarwan dug in expertly though, and the Australians could not find a way through in the second session of the day.
Sarwan was more reserved than usual but still managed to make his way to three figures by tea, with a legside boundary bringing up his hundred from 181 balls in total and he left the field at tea on 101 not out.
Chanderpaul reached his fifty after tea as West Indies cruised towards a draw, but the second new ball did the trick immediately when Mitchell Johnson got rid of Sarwan with the first ball with the new cherry.
The new ball reared up off a length and caught the skipper by surprise and the ball popped up to Hussey in the gully for the fourth wicket down and still 17 overs left to face.
Dwayne Bravo came in but he could not last out and with 14 overs left Lee found a leading edge with a short ball and Brad Hodge gobbled up the chance to give the Aussies a real chance of the win.
Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin came in at an unenviable position, but he kept his cool well and, along with the unflappable Chanderpaul, then saw off Lee and company's final flourish to seal the draw.
Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting called it a day with five overs still left to play but with no chance of bagging the five remaining Windies wickets.
West Indies closed on 266-5 at stumps and despite losing the trophy they at least can head for the third Test still with a chance of levelling the series.