MELBOURNE: Australia’s bowlers had to work hard for their wickets but completed an emphatic 177-run victory before the close of day four of the second test against West Indies on Tuesday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Denesh Ramdin and captain Jason Holder built a brave 100-run stand after tea to slow Australia’s march at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but all-rounder Mitchell Marsh broke the partnership and took 4-61 to complete the triumph.
After Australia captain Steve Smith declared before the start of play to set the tourists an imposing 460-run target for victory, West Indies’ batsmen battled hard but were bowled out for 282.
Spinner Nathan Lyon was named man-of-the-match after taking seven wickets, including a valuable 3-85 in the second innings on a stubborn MCG wicket that refused to deteriorate late even deep into day four.
The off-spinner ensured West Indies were chasing a lost cause by dismissing their last specialist batsman in Jermaine Blackwood for 20 shortly after tea, the Jamaican trapped lbw after attempting to slog the spinner over square leg.
Marsh had Ramdin caught behind for 59 and Lyon bowled debutant Carlos Brathwaite for two, his ball just clipping off a bail to leave Australia needing three wickets for victory.
Holder soaked up another half-hour with fellow paceman Kemar Roach to raise hopes of pushing the match into a fifth day, but lost concentration with two of the minimum overs left in the day, spooning a catch off the bowling of Marsh straight to Josh Hazlewood at mid-on to be dismissed for 68.
The floodgates opened and James Pattinson had Roach out for 11 in the next over, caught in the slips by David Warner.
Marsh wrapped up the innings by dismissing Jerome Taylor for a duck, the tail-ender skying a pull to be well caught by Pattinson running in from long leg.