Chasing a teasing victory target of 192 over the final two sessions, the tourists sneaked home following a slightly nervy chase that was led by Shane Watson’s 52.
Australia bowled out West Indies for 148 on the stroke of lunch, with Ben Hilfenhaus grabbing four for 27, before they initially laboured in pursuit.
Watson and Ed Cowan (34) laid the platform for the chase but after the part-time spinner Narsingh Deonarine claimed four quick wickets, Australia needed Michael Hussey to blast 32 from 26 balls to get them all-but home in the gloom. It completed a remarkable turnaround after Australia were totally outplayed on the opening three days, before the match turned around Michael Clarke’s bold declaration on Tuesday.
West Indies were in complete control after posting a first-innings total of 449 before reducing Australia to 285 for eight on what turned into a chaotic fourth day.
But Ryan Harris’ maiden Test half-century sparked the recovery as the last two wickets put on 122 to allow Clarke to declare 43 runs short and insert West Indies with the momentum going against them.
It proved a masterstroke as Hilfenhaus turned the game further with three wickets in six balls before Harris (three for 31) tidied up the tail this morning.
That left his batsmen with 192 to secure victory but a painfully slow West Indies over-rate, and some unhurried Australia batting, in the afternoon session threatened to deny Clark’s men a fifth successive Test win.
They reached tea at 61 for one, with Cowan inching to 11 from 61 balls, as Australia sought to set the stage for late fireworks.
Watson initially provided the hitting after tea as he brought up his half-century, from 54 balls, but when he became Deonarine’s first victim, pulling a long hop to backward square leg, Australia started to show signs of nerves.
Deonarine removed Cowan, after he had faced 100 balls, Ricky Ponting and Clarke in the space of 14 runs to give the hosts a scent of victory at 140 for five.
But Hussey set to work, his pace hastened by the setting sun, clattering two sixes in his knock only to fall three runs short of the target when bowled by Kemar Roach.
It mattered not though as Hilfenhaus scrambled the winning run soon after to give Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. –– Guardian.