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Australia retains Frank Worrell Trophy with 177-run win

Mitchell Marsh and Nathan Lyon combine to bowl West Indies out for 282 in closing moments of Day 4 at Melbourne

Australia retains Frank Worrell Trophy with 177-run win - Cricket News
Australia beat West Indies by 177 runs on the fourth day of the second Test, to take a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series and thus retain the Frank Worrell Trophy in Melbourne on Tuesday (December 29).
 
Australia had won the first Test in Hobart by a convincing innings-and-212-runs margin, and with this victory, assured itself of a series win. West Indies was all out for 282 late on the fourth day, having been set a target of 460 after Steven Smith declared Australia’s second innings on its overnight 179 for 3.
 
Jason Holder, the West Indies captain, and Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper, provided the best batting phase for the visiting side, putting on a 100-run stand for the sixth wicket, but once Ramdin was caught behind off Mitchell Marsh to leave the side 250 for 6, Australia needed only 10 more overs to wrap the innings up, with the match ending 1.3 overs before the scheduled close of play.
 
Holder’s 68 from No.7 was the top score of the innings, while Ramdin contributed 59, the only other half-century in the innings and the wicketkeeper’s best Test score in two years. For Australia, Marsh returned 4 for 61 in 17.3 overs, including the final wicket, with Jerome Taylor caught well at fine leg by a diving James Pattinson. Nathan Lyon, the offspinner, had 3 for 85, giving him a match haul of seven wickets, which also earned him the Man of the Match award.


 
“I thought our energy, intent and all that in the field was probably as good as it's been this summer,” said Smith after the match. “Lyono (Nathan Lyon) did what he's done so well for us this summer, got wickets for us at crucial times. He’s bowled beautifully.”
 
For a time, Ramdin and Holder held the Australians at bay with a robust partnership that lasted 21 overs. It was the first century partnership of the series for the West Indians.
 
“I'm obviously proud of the way the guys showed some fight in this game,” offered Holder. “I'm still disappointed we didn't put up a better fight but still credit to the way the guys played, especially Darren Bravo in the first innings and Denesh Ramdin in the second innings. I thought the bowlers tried (too).”
 
West Indies began its second innings reasonably well in the morning, moving to lunch at 64 for 1, with only Kraigg Brathwaite out, caught in the slips by Smith off Lyon. However, Australia dismissed Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika and Marlon Samuels in the afternoon session leaving West Indies 146 for 4 at tea. Though the Holder-Ramdin stand steadied the innings, Australia didn’t let its advantage slip.
 
Bravo, the first-innings top-scorer with 81, was caught behind off Peter Siddle for 21, and Chandrika's 130-ball vigil ended when he was trapped lbw by Pattinson for 37. After Ramdin fell, Carlos Brathwaite, the debutant allrounder, could not back up his 59 in the first innings and was bowled by Lyon for 2. Holder's resistance ended in the final overs of the day as he drove Marsh straight to Josh Hazlewood at mid-off.
 
Earlier, with Smith declaring at the start of the day when his own score was 70 not out, he finished 2015 with 1,474 runs at 73.70 – the most for the year. Only Joe Root, who has 1,372 runs so far, is in a position to topple Smith, if he scores well in England’s second innings of its ongoing Test against South Africa in Durban.
 
The final Test of this series gets under way in Sydney on Sunday.
 

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