Australia have claimed a thrilling three-wicket win in the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados.
Chasing 192 for victory on a deteriorating fifth-day wicket, Australia overcame a resilient Windies and fading light to go one-nil up in the three-Test series.
With time running out and wickets falling, Ben Hilfenhaus scrambled the single needed as Australia finished on 7-192, the Tasmanian celebrating even as a run-out decision went to the third umpire before confirming the win.
The tourists were seemingly cruising towards their target before a middle-order collapse sparked by offspinner Narsingh Deonarine (4-53) ensured a tense finish at Kensington Oval.
Australia reached 1-61 at tea after their chase was delayed by a rain delay that extended past the lunch break, with David Warner (23) the lone man dismissed.
After tea, Ed Cowan, who had taken 61 balls to reach double figures, and Shane Watson showed Australia’s intent by scoring 33 off the first four overs after the break.
But after that flurry, Watson’s demise for 52 sparked a fightback as Deonarine gave the hosts hope of victory.
Deonarine removed Watson, Cowan (34), Ricky Ponting (14) and the vital wicket of captain Michael Clarke (6) as he claimed 4-24 in six overs and suddenly Australia were 5-140.
The 28-year-old, who once claimed 7-28 in a first-class match at Kensington Oval, then thought he a five-wicket haul when umpire Ian Gould upheld a LBW appeal against Matthew Wade.
The Australian debutant quickly referred the decision and replays showed he had hit the ball to get the decision reversed, Wade eventually falling in the game’s dying stages for 18 after a crucial 37-run stand with Michael Hussey (32).
The veteran Hussey appeared to have done enough to seal the win himself in an inventive 26-ball knock which featured two sixes and two reverse sweeps for four.
The 36-year-old didn’t get to close out the match however, bowled by Kemar Roach (2-45) at the start of what turned out to be the game’s final over.
Earlier, Australia claimed the five Windies’ second-innings wickets in the morning session to dismiss the hosts for 148, despite Clarke, Watson and Nathan Lyon all dropping catches in the session.
Hilfenhaus finished the pick of Australia’s bowlers with 4-27 while Ryan Harris took the final wicket to end up with 3-31 when he bowled Roach after the tailender had made a defiant 25.
The second Test begins in Trinidad on Sunday (0000 Monday AEST).
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