Barbados: A late cameo from Michael Hussey and a Shane Watson half century helped guide Australia to a thrilling first Test victory over the West Indies as darkness descended over Bridgetown on Wednesday.
West Indies 1st Innings: 449/9d in 153.0 overs.
Australia 1st Innings: 406/9d in 145.0 overs.
West Indies 2nd Innings: 148/10 in 66.4 overs.
Australia 2nd Innings: 192/7 in 47.0 overs.
Courtesy: Cricket Australia
The tourists reached their target of 192 with three wickets remaining as the sun set on a dramatic final day at Kensington Oval, sealing a comeback victory to take a 1-0 advantage in the three-Test series.
West Australian Hussey was composed with the bat amid a nervy finish from the tourists, scoring 32 off 26 balls and steadying Australia’s innings after the West Indies took a flurry of middle order wickets.
Kemar Roach bowled Hussey with three runs still required for victory, but man of the match Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus ensured an Australian victory.
Hilfenhaus struck the winning run at 5.42pm local time with a quick single that was tensely referred to the third umpire, who found the Tasmanian had made his ground in time.
Australia had earlier been in a commanding position of 1-106 after dismissing the West Indies for 148 before lunch.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy dropped Shane Watson on four and it proved costly for the home side as Watson and Ed Cowan combined for a 75-run partnership.
Cowan was also given a lifeline when keeper Carlton Baugh failed to hold on to an edge off Sammy’s bowling.
Off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine gave the West Indies renewed hope, first dismissing Watson and then removing Cowan (34), Ricky Ponting (14) and Michael Clarke (6) within the space of nine balls, leaving Australia needing 52 with five wickets in hand.
Test debutant Matthew Wade added 18 to the chase but was caught in the deep by Devendra Bishoo off Roach, before Hussey and Harris added another 12 runs in their seventh-wicket stand.
Earlier, Australia also had a number of dropped catches, with three opportunities going begging during the first session.
Roach and Bishoo combined for a final wicket stand of 28 and gave the West Indies a chance, while Hilfenhaus finished the innings with 4-27.
Harris dismissed Roach on the final day to claim figures of 3-31, adding to his two first innings wickets and decisive 68 not out when Australia looked to be heading into the second innings with a massive deficit.
It was Australia’s fifth consecutive Test victory following the 4-0 whitewash of India in December and January.
The second Test will take place in Port of Spain beginning on Sunday.
Result: Australia won by 3 wickets.
Man Of The Match: Ryan Harris (Australia).