Adelaide Day Five: Match saved, trophy retained, honour lost.

Submitted by Rick Eyre on December 9 2009, 2:46 pm

The Adelaide Test has thrown up some unexpected results in recent years, notably India's win in 2003, England's loss in 2006, both with the team batting first scoring more than 550 and losing.

In 2009, the West Indies batted first, scored 451, and never really looked like giving the Test away after that. For a short period just after tea on the final day Tuesday, they were in a winnable position with the home side at 139 for 5. But 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.

But almost totally overlooked in the heartwarming result of this Test was the fact that, with an unassailable 1-0 series lead, Australia had retained the Frank Worrell Trophy. It was Australia's seventh consecutive defence of the trophy since "the weakest Australian team" Richie Richardson had played against grabbed the title in 1995. In its day, the Frank Worrell Trophy was almost as prestigious a title in world cricket as The Ashes.

It would be a shame if the Frank Worrell Trophy became as memorable as, say, this week's "Pacific MMI Motor Vehicles Insurance Limited Don't Drink and Drive T20 Legends Bash".

I'm trying very hard to reserve judgment on the UDRS until I've seen it in action for a full three Test series, but already it, sadly, is in danger of becoming yet another faux strategic tool in the manner of the ODI "powerplay". It may or may not have cost us the services of umpire Mark Benson, who abruptly flew home from Adelaide to the UK after the first day's play.

The ICC media release issued Tuesday night on Benson's behalf concludes with the following managerial doosra from CEO Lorgat:

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "I sincerely hope that after Mark's clarification, all speculation will be put to rest and the focus will return to the Perth Test which is extremely crucial to Australia who needs to beat the West Indies to prevent dropping from its current third position to fourth in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table."

Did you see the elation on the face of Ricky Ponting on Sunday with the news that Australia had risen from fourth position to third? Didn't think so.

On the subject of doosras, Jason Krejza has taken 13 wickets in four matches for Tasmania at the start of the current Sheffield Shield season (and let's not ignore his maiden first-class century for Australia A against Pakistan A during the winter). If only it had been Krejza for Siddle at the Adelaide Oval...

To conclude, full credit to Channel Nine, who stayed with the live telecast of the final overs of the match on Tuesday evening, thus delaying the News and A Current Affair and, by direct consequence, the second episode of "Australia's Funniest Home Videos, Daily Edition". And without even giving us a few extra glimpses of their latest Stats Porn tool, the GatorTracker.