PORT OF SPAIN, (Reuters) – Australia retained the Frank Worrell Trophy after the second test against West Indies ended in a draw at Trinidad today.
Any hopes of a decisive result on the fifth day were ruined by a mid-afternoon shower that forced an early end to proceedings at Queen’s Park Oval.
The Australians, who won last week’s first test in Barbados in a final day thriller, set West Indies a target of 215 runs from 61 overs to win after declaring their second innings closed at 160 for eight after lunch.
West Indies lost both openers cheaply but recovered to reach 53-2 when play was halted by bad light, then rain.
All five days of the match were interrupted by foul weather and the signs were ominous on Thursday morning when the start was delayed by 45 minutes because of damp patches in the outfield from Wednesday’s downpour.
The Australians then made a cautious start, adding just 50 runs from the first 25 overs before lunch after losing the wickets of Ricky Ponting for 41 and Michael Clarke for 15.
Ponting threw his wicket away when he instinctively hooked a bouncer from Fidel Edwards straight down the throat of Kieran Powell at deep backward square.
Clarke departed three overs later when he was brilliantly caught by West Indian captain Darren Sammy off his own bowling.
The Australians did raise the tempo after the resumption with Mike Hussey belting the first delivery for six.
For a brief period, the runs started to flow and the wickets tumbled but the dark clouds were gathering.
Hussey made 24 before he dragged a ball from Kemar Roach back on to his stumps. Roach then clean bowled Ben Hilfenhaus for duck in the same over to finish with 5-41 and complete his first 10-wicket haul at test level.
The 23-year-old became the first West Indian in seven years to take 10 wickets in a test and the first since Curtly Ambrose in 1993 to do so against Australia.
Nathan Lyon was the last man out, caught for three, leaving Matthew Wade unbeaten on 31.
Hilfenahus briefly set pulses racing when he captured two wickets in his first two overs.
He removed Adrian Barath for five in his first over, caught at slip by Clarke, then trapped Powell lbw for four before Sammy (30 not out) and Darren Bravo (eight not out) steadied the ship.
The third test starts in Dominica on Monday with both teams expected to make changes.
Australian fast bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson had already been ruled out because of back pain and told to return home for treatment.
Cricket Australia said Siddle, who was overlooked for Trinidad because of his bad back, had flown home on Thursday while Pattinson would follow him 24 hours later.