The Frank Worrell Trophy is settled for 2009. Australia 2, West Indies 0, with one draw. Sounds decisive on the surface of it, but the truth is that, for the two latter Tests at least, the Windies surpassed expectations. Australia played like a team hovering between third and fourth-best in the world.
On Thursday, day two of the WACA Test against the West Indies, Dennis Lillee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Chris Gayle celebrated by smashing the ball onto the roof of his grandstand.
Australia, chasing 330 for the win, lost no further wickets as Michael Clarke, perhaps its most dependable batsman in this situation, dropped anchor in partnership with Brad Haddin. Still, it was a little surprising to see Chris Gayle call a halt to the match with five overs to play. Apart from surrendering that final (albeit unlikely) shot at going for the kill, this Test was Gayle's finest as West Indian captain, and not just for his own bat-carrying 165 not out in the second innings.
Monday December 7 2009 was the day when all criticism of Christopher Henry Gayle must cease. Gayle did everything that should be expected of an opening batsman-captain leading by example. Even if few of his team-mates did much to follow.
And so it was on Friday that for about two hours we had the exhilaration of simultaneously following: Day Three, India v Sri Lanka at Mumbai; Day Two, New Zealand v Pakistan at Wellington; Day One, Australia v West Indies at Adelaide. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Just exhausting. Three games of wildly varying textures, each one with that joyous "Let's See You Do That In The IPL" feel about them.
One would have to wonder about the tactics of both captains in the half-hour or so before tea. Ponting gave a rather surprising declaration with the total at 480 as soon as Nathan Hauritz brought up his fifty. Such an odd total at which to declare...