Sarwan century helps Windies to a draw

West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan scored a patient and determined 128 on Tuesday to take his side to a draw on the final day of the second Test against Australia.

Australia, 1-0 up in the three-match series, retained the Frank Worrell Trophy.

After Ricky Ponting declared before the start of play, setting the West Indies an unlikely victory target of 372, the hosts were struggling on 95-3 at lunch, but recovered thanks to a gritty partnership from Sarwan and fellow Guyanese batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

The pair put on 143 for the fourth wicket before Sarwan was caught off Mitchell Johnson with the first delivery of the new ball.

When Dwayne Bravo (1) quickly followed, Australia felt they had a chance of victory, but Denesh Ramdin joined Chanderpaul to see the innings through until five overs from the scheduled close when Ponting signalled he would settle for the draw.

Chanderpaul, who scored 107 not out in the first innings, was unbeaten on 77.

Australia had been on top throughout the Test and will now look back with disappointment on the four hours lost after rain on the third day. The West Indies will be encouraged by their rearguard action ahead of the final Test in Barbados on June 12.

Brett Lee, who took five wickets for five runs in a superb spell of swing bowling on Monday, got the early breakthrough with just four runs on the board as Devon Smith (0) chopped a rising delivery to Mike Hussey at gulley.

Then the other West Indies opener, Xavier Marshall, was caught behind off Stuart Clark for five as the hosts tumbled to 19-2.

Sarwan and Runako Morton steadied the innings before Lee returned for a second spell and trapped Morton lbw for 14.

Chanderpaul joined Sarwan before lunch and the pair batted with few scares until tea, although Sarwan survived an appeal to the third umpire for a stumping off MacGill

The new ball was Australia’s last throw of the dice and it brought an instant result with Johnson getting the ball to rise off a good length. Sarwan edged to Hussey at gulley.

Bravo was then caught by substitute Brad Hodge at point, as he got a leading edge trying to turn Lee to the onside, and suddenly there were nerves among another paltry home crowd.

But wicketkeeper Ramdin (21 not out), who has looked shaky in this series, kept his nerve and West Indies held out for the draw. — Reuters

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