By Julian Linden
PORT OF SPAIN, April 19 (Reuters) - Australia retained the Frank Worrell Trophy after the second test against West Indies ended in a draw on Thursday.
Any hopes of a decisive result on the fifth day were ruined by a storm that forced an early end to proceedings at Queen’s Park Oval.
The Australians, who won last week’s first test in Barbados in a final day thriller, set West Indies a target of 215 runs from 61 overs to win after declaring their second innings closed at 160 for eight after lunch.
West Indies lost both openers cheaply but recovered to reach 53-2 when play was halted by bad light, then rain.
“I think if there was no rain you would have seen a result which was great for the game. I think either the West Indies or Australia would have won,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said.
“There would have been a winner and loser which is what people come to see. You want to see a result over a five day period. It was a hard fight out there, there’s no doubt about it.”
All five days of the match were interrupted by foul weather and the signs were ominous on Thursday morning when the start was delayed by 45 minutes because of damp patches in the outfield from Wednesday’s downpour.
But both teams tried to salvage something from the last day although the weather forecast was not good.
“We were trying to get the runs. The guys were positive in the dressing room,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said.
“Sixty overs was enough. We thought we could get the runs. Our plan was to see how far we could get by tea and then reassess after that.”
The Australians made a cautious start, adding just 50 runs from the first 25 overs before lunch after losing the wickets of Ricky Ponting for 41 and Clarke for 15.
They raised the tempo after the resumption with Mike Hussey belting the first delivery for six and for a brief period, the runs started to flow and the wickets tumbled.
“There’s always a risk of losing in trying to win,” said Clarke.
“Unfortunately the rain’s cost both teams, I think it would have been a really good finish to a tough test match.”
Kemar Roach, named man of the match, dismissed Hussey and Ben Hilfenhaus in the same over to finish with 5-41 and complete his first 10-wicket haul at test level.
The 23-year-old became the first West Indian in seven years to take 10 wickets in a test and the first since Curtly Ambrose in 1993 to do so against Australia.
Hilfenhaus briefly gave the Australians a glimmer of hope when he dismissed both West Indian openers, Adrian Barath and Kieran Powell, in his first two overs, before Sammy (30 not out) and Darren Bravo (eight not out) steadied the ship and increased the run-rate with some powerful hitting.
“The guys believe now that we can not only compete but we can win matches against top opposition,” Sammy said. “We go into every game thinking we can win.”
The third test starts in Dominica on Monday with both teams forced to make changes.
Australian fast bowlers Peter Siddle and James Pattinson had already been ruled out because of back pain and told to return home for treatment while West Indies called up Assad Fudadin into their squad for leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
“My goal hasn’t changed, we’re looking to win every test match we play,” Clarke said.
“Rain played a big part throughout this test match which is unfortunate...we go to Dominica and try and do everything we can to win that test match.” (Editing by Justin Palmer and Pritha Sarkar)