THEY dropped catches, suffered a late attack of the jitters and were even briefly stalled by the elements but Australia beat the setting sun and a gallant West Indies to post a thrilling three-wicket triumph in the first Test in Bridgetown on Wednesday.
What appeared a straightforward victory for Australia at the start of the day turned into a white-knuckled roller-coaster ride on a day of drama which underlined why Test cricket remains the pinnacle of cricket.
With light fading at Kensington Oval, Ben Hilfenhaus hit the winning runs at 5.42pm local time, giving the visitors their fifth consecutive Test victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Shane Watson top-scored with a half-century and Michael Hussey made a brisk 32 off 26 balls but it was left to quicks Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus to seal the deal after Australia suffered two major frights during the afternoon.
Set 192 off 63 overs, the Australians were cautious up until tea after a rain delay at lunch, conserving wickets which allowed them to up the ante after the interval when they scored at more than five an over.
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