Clarke spins Australia to series victory
Australian captain Michael Clarke claimed his second five-wicket haul of his Test career. Photo: AFP
The West Indies showed cheek but Australia emerged with the last laugh after Michael Clarke claimed a rare five-wicket haul to spin his team to a 75-run win in the third Test on Friday.
The Australians claimed victory shortly before lunch, dismissing the home side for 294 to complete a hard-fought 2-0 series win in the Caribbean against the world No.7.
Clarke copped considerable stick from the Windies' tail but pocketed the wickets of Deonarine and Ravi Rampaul on his way to figures of 5-86 - his second Test five-for and first since his famous 6-9 against India in 2004.
"A day like today shows you how much spin there was in that wicket," Clarke said when asked if his fourth-innings heroics were an indication that he should bowl himself more.
The result was not in doubt once Narsingh Deonarine, the hosts' last recognised batsman, departed in the seventh over of the day though the hosts went down swinging thanks to a whirlwind innings from Darren Sammy.
The Windies captain thrashed a career-best 61 off 51balls and shared an entertaining 49-run stand for the last wicket with local hero Shane Shillingford, much to the delight of a raucous crowd.
The pair smashed Clarke and Nathan Lyon out of the attack and even had the gumption to see off six overs against the new ball.
Shillingford, whose unbeaten 31 off 46 balls was his highest first-class score, was agricultural early but grew in confidence and produced arguably the shot of the day - a powerful cover drive off Mitchell Starc.
Sammy was game in defeat, taking the challenge up to the Australians - particularly against Clarke, whom he smashed for 17 runs in four balls in one over.
"It's been a wonderful series, a really hard-fought series from both teams and I hope West Indies get a lot of credit for the way they played," Clarke said.
"Yes, the result says 2-0 but i can guarantee you every part of this Test series has been fought hard, played in the right spirit and I think it's been great for Test cricket so they deserve a lot of credit.
"We've seen some tough battles. As Darren said we just managed to win the tough battle at times that you need to to win the Test matches.
"It's the toughest game in the world - five days and you can't afford to be off for an hour and I think in conditions like this, nice and hot and pretty slow, low wickets it becomes even tougher."
The Windies will be ruing a lack of discipline from several members of their lower order, with the exception of Kemar Roach, who was dismissed trying to defend.
Carlton Baugh, who has been dropped from the Windies touring squad for Tests in England, was most culpable, playing an ugly swipe off Lyon to Ricky Ponting - who held a sharp overhead catch at mid-wicket. His dismissal came at a time when Sammy was running red hot.
Ravi Rampaul, a more than capable tailender, also could not resist the urge to attack when defence would have better served his team.
Matthew Wade was named man of the match for his bruising century in the first innings which handed the ascendancy to the visitors.