CANBERRA, Australia (CMC):
TAGENARINE CHANDERPAUL again grabbed the headlines with an attractive half-century, but the West Indies’ last-day chase fell short as their four-day match against the Australian Premier’s XI ended in a tense draw yesterday.
The 26-year-old son of Test legend Shiv Chanderpaul top-scored with 56, leading the touring team’s pursuit of a target of 309 at Manuka Oval. Devon Thomas also hit a confident 55 and goaltender Joshua Da Silva an equally confident unbeaten 52.
Chanderpaul’s strike came on the heels of his first innings 119 and earned him man of the match honours, probably also sealing his Test debut in the opening Test at Perth from next Wednesday.
The West Indies looked poised to win the day/night contest on 177 for three, but lost a group of wickets to see their challenge derailed, finishing on 277 for eight.
“I am not happy with the result; we should have won it,” head coach Phil Simmons said.
“We had a few misplaced wickets in the middle where we controlled the game, so that’s the only small disappointment I had today. But the way the guys fought at the end is always very encouraging.”
Captain Kraigg Brathwaite was one of the first casualties, adding just one to his 19 overnight before finding himself caught in his crease and dropped by closer Michael Neser (2-43).
Left-handed Chanderpaul then led the chase for his side, stroking five fours and six from 138 balls as he put in 46 for the second wicket with Nkrumah Bonner (12) and another 34 for the third wicket with Thomas, whose 93-ball innings included four fours and a six.
Chanderpaul was eventually third, left-arm closer Joel Paris winning a pound decision against him, but Thomas took over, adding 58 for the fourth wicket with lefty Kyle Mayers (20).
The West Indies were looking for victory when Mayers fell into a wicket catch off Neser, causing a drop which saw the Caribbean side lose three wickets for 44 runs, the innings dwindling rapidly to 221 for six.
The unflappable Da Silva then anchored perhaps the key innings position when he recorded 48 for the seventh wicket with Alzarri Joseph, whose 31 came from 73 deliveries and included four fours and one six.
Da Silva faced 124 deliveries and tallied half a dozen fours in partnership, taking crucial time out of the final session and frustrating the hosts.
By the time Joseph directed pacer Mark Steketee (3-56) into the ravine and Kemar Roach gloved the same pitcher for the first slide 11 balls later scoreless, the end was in sight and Da Silva partnered with the injured Raymon Reifer (0 not out) to leave out the last 55 deliveries of the game.