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West Indies decline Australia's double declaration offer in 3rd Test

West Indies captain Jason Holder declined a declaration offer from counterpart Steve Smith to set up a possible result on the final day of the rain-plagued third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Associated Press |January 7, 2016, 2:57 PM IST
West Indies decline Australia's double declaration offer in 3rd Test

Sydney: West Indies captain Jason Holder declined a declaration offer from counterpart Steve Smith to set up a possible result on the final day of the rain-plagued third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

The visitors resumed their first innings on the fifth day at 248-7 despite an offer from Smith of a double declaration that would have seen Australia chasing 370 runs off the final 70 overs to win.

"Unfortunately they didn't come to the party," Smith said after the match ended in a draw after nearly three days were lost to rain. "I offered him 370 in 70 overs, which I thought was pretty generous. It would take some good batting to get that on a day five SCG wicket, but they weren't up for the challenge unfortunately."

"They would have had to declare this morning, I would have declared nought for nought and then bowled lob ups for seven or eight overs.

"Potentially that could have been me bowling with three slips and two gullies and leaving every man up to try for them to hit as many as they can to make sure we got 370 off 70 (overs) that was promised to them.

Holder said his teammates considered the offer from Smith, but opted to maintain their focus on their goals for the tour.

"We just felt at this stage of our development it wasn't the best thing for us," he said. "We had Ramdin who was scoring and looking well and we gave him the encouragement to go out and build an innings and build some confidence."

"We set out at the start of the series to bat out 90 overs each time we batted and to get past the 300-mark and that was one of the things that we wanted to achieve today and we achieved that."

In an era with close scrutiny on match fixing and betting on results, Smith said he believed the offer fell within the spirit and rules of the game.

"Yeah, I spoke to Boof (coach Darren Lehman) who read through the rules and said you are allowed to do that kind of thing," Smith said.

Australia won the series 2-0 after getting victories in the first two Tests at Hobart and Melbourne. It had been chasing a series clean sweep that could have catapulted it to the top of the world Test rankings.

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