Clark bowls Aussies to win over West Indies

Seamer Stuart Clark took five wickets to spearhead Australia to a 95-run win in the first Test against the West Indies on Monday.

Resuming on 46-1 on the fifth day, the West Indies were all out for 191.

They lost skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan and opener Devon Smith early and slumped to 117-6 at lunch, with Clark and pace bowler Brett Lee doing the damage.

Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy brought some respectability to the West Indies score with a 67 partnership before Ramdin was run out for 36, but by then Australia had the game in the bag.

Clark, who took three wickets in the first innings, finished with figures of 5-32, his best Test performance.

A day filled with hope for an improving West Indies team, who had competed well for the first four days, turned into a familiar story of failure and batting collapse under pressure.

It began miserably for a sparse home crowd when Sarwan tried to push Clark through the on-side, found a leading edge and Andrew Symonds took a brilliant catch at extra cover, tipping the ball up one-handed before grabbing it at the second attempt.

That was a huge breakthrough for the tourists and it was not long before Clark picked up his third victim when opener Smith was trapped leg before for 28 offering no shot to leave West Indies struggling at 60-3.

Runako Morton’s innings was typical of the West Indian failure to match Australia’s ruthlessness. He hit two successive fours off Brett Lee but was then trapped leg before in the same over by the Australian.

Dwayne Bravo looked the last hope for an unlikely home revival but he failed to score, falling into a well-set trap. Australia skipper Ricky Ponting put Mitchell Johnson at short mid-on and Bravo drove a full-length Clark delivery straight into his grateful hands.

Clark was able to make the most of the track with his nagging line and awkward bounce proving too much for the home batsmen.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who scored a century in the first innings, was next to go and with him went any lingering hope of a fight from the home side.

With a heavily off-side field, Chanderpaul (11) tried to play Lee through mid-wicket but got himself tangled up and merely punched the ball back for a caught and bowled.

Ramdin and Sammy offered the illusion of resistance until Ramdin was run out and, although Daren Powell added 27 with the pressure off, there was never any danger of Australia failing to get off to a winning start to the series.

The second Test will begin in Antigua on Friday. — Reuters

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