Australia snatch draw from West Indies despite late Sammy deluge
23:29 GMT, 25 March 2012
Australia salvaged a 2-2 series draw against the West Indies after withstanding a late onslaught from Darren Sammy to record a 30-run victory in the fifth and final one-day international in Gros Islet.
On the back of half-centuries from their top three Shane Watson, David Warner and Peter Forrest, Australia ran up an imposing 281 for nine batting first and that ultimately proved enough for victory as they dismissed their hosts for 251.
It was a far from comfortable triumph, though, as the West Indies fought hard to keep alive their hopes of a first ODI series win over the Australians since 1995.
Close: Australia celebrate after bowling out Darren Sammy
The home side looked down and out when the big-hitting Kieron Pollard was dismissed for 33 to leave them 118 for seven in the 32nd over, but for the second match in succession the West Indies lower order wagged impressively.
Skipper Sammy and Andre Russell helped put on 132 in just 14 overs with century-maker Pollard during Friday's fourth ODI win, and it was those two who gave Australia another scare today.
Sammy reached his third ODI half-century off only 20 balls as he and Russell shared 101-run stand for the eighth wicket in under 10 overs.
However, when Russell was trapped lbw by Xavier Doherty for a 33-ball 41, it was the beginning of the end for the West Indies, although Sammy continued the fight.
Strong: Sammy racked up 84 before being bowled
The captain saw Sunil Narine come and go
for seven but carried on tormenting the Australian attack before
finally being the last man to fall when, having reached 84, he was
caught at deep square leg by Mike Hussey off Ben Hilfenhaus.
Sammy's runs came off only 50 balls, and included six sixes and half a dozen fours.
Brett Lee finished with impressive figures of three for 42 off his nine overs – which included three maidens and two wickets in his opening two overs – while Clint McKay, Watson and Doherty each took two wickets each.
Earlier, Australia were given a healthy platform to build from thanks to impressive contributions from Watson (66), Warner (69) and Forrest (53) at the top of the order.
Out: Australia celebrate after Sunil Narine, was caught by the wicket keeper Matthew Wade for 7 runs
However, a rain delay when they were 201 for three in the 38th over hampered Australia's hopes of building some momentum for the final charge and, although Matthew Wade struck a quickfire 26, the West Indies were able to restrict them to a total some way below what had looked possible.
Russell finished with four for 61 while Kemar Roach took three for 53 and Narine two for 55.
In the end that turned out to be a winning score for the tourists, but they had to survive a battling performance from Sammy and his side.