Hilfenhaus burst rocks Windies
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – West Indies were left scrambling after an inexplicable batting collapse triggered by Ben Hilfenhaus, brought Australia firmly back into contention for the first Digicel Test on Tuesday.
Narsingh Deonarine was not out on 20 and Carlton Baugh Jr was not out on two, as the Windies reached 71 for five in their second innings for an overall lead of 114 at the close on the fourth day at Kensington Oval.
A defiant 50-run, fifth-wicket stand between Darren Bravo and fellow left-hander Narsingh Deonarine offered the hosts temporary solace, after Hilfenhaus collected three wickets for 17 runs from 10 overs to send them tumbling to 17 for four. But Bravo’s dismissal about 15 minutes before the close, further destabilised West Indies and left them battling for survival.
This followed a period of frustration for the Windies, as career-best knocks of 68 not out from Ryan Harris and 40 not out from Nathan Lyon in an unbroken, last-wicket stand of 77 allowed Australia to stage a fight-back and declare on 406 for nine, replying to the home team’s 449 for nine declared.
Kemar Roach was the most successful West Indies bowler with three for 72 from 29 overs, West Indies captain Darren Sammy supported with two for 65 from 21 overs, and Fidel Edwards took two for 92 from 31 overs.
Left with half-hour to bat before tea, West Indies were left rocking on four runs for three wickets, when Hilfenhaus crystallised Australia’s fight-back, flattening the home team’s top order.
Adrian Barath was bowled for two, playing across a full-length delivery in the fast-medium bowler’s second over and fellow opener Kraigg Brathwaite was caught behind for a duck, essaying an uncharacteristic waft at a delivery moving away outside the off-stump.
Kirk Edwards was fortunate, when he edged Harris to second slip, where television replays confirmed that the ball bounced just before Ricky Ponting grabbed it. But the new West Indies vice-captain failed to make the most of the chance and was adjudged lbw to Hilfenhaus for one, playing across a well-pitched delivery that moved back. He made one.
After tea, Shivnarine Chanderpaul joined Bravo and tried to stem the fall of wickets before he was caught behind for 12, nibbling at a delivery outside the off-stump from Harris.
Deonarine, the highest scorer in the Regional 4-Day Tournament, came to the crease and with Bravo took the sting out of the Australian attack for close to two hours.
Bravo got into stride with a crisp square drive off Harris for his first boundary, but mixed solid defence with a couple rasping strokes.
Just when it looked like he and Deonarine were getting comfortable, Bravo sparred at a delivery outside the off-stump and was caught behind for 32 off Peter Siddle, leaving West Indies 67 for five.
Fortune favoured West Indies in the final over of the day, when Baugh offered no stroke to a delivery from Siddle that moved back and Australia unsuccessfully appealed umpire Tony Hill’s not-out verdict.
Earlier, four wickets – two apiece to Roach and Fidel Edwards – had given West Indies a strong hand, as Australia reached 366 for nine at lunch.
The hosts would have been greatly disappointed they failed to bowl the Aussies out before the interval however, having claimed been allowed an additional half-hour past the scheduled lunchtime.
Roach had given West Indies an early breakthrough, after Australia resumed from their overnight total of 248 for five.
He had Mike Hussey caught behind for 48, essaying a loose drive at a delivery angled across him. The Aussie left-hander struck half-dozen boundaries from 167 balls in close to 3 ½ hours.
A delivery from Edwards was inside-edged through backward square leg by Wade, ensuring West Indies would have to bat again.
Next over, Edwards had Siddle caught at gully for a duck, when he produced an unplayable snorter and the batsman chose self-preservation, leaving Australia 250 for seven inside the first half-hour.
West Indies were frustrated for just over 45 minutes, when Matthew Wade and Harris added 35 for the eighth wicket, but Edwards had the Australia wicketkeeper/batsman caught at second slip for 28, driving loosely at a delivery outside the off-stump.
West Indies met further resistance, when Hilfenhaus came to crease and put on 44 for the ninth wicket with Harris, whose 50 came from 76 balls, when he helped a delivery from Roach past mid-wicket for two.
Roach made the breakthrough however, when he bowled Hilfenhaus for 24 with a full-length delivery, the batsman swinging and missing.
West Indies tried to claim the final Australia wicket, but Harris and Lyon defied the home team either side of the interval, bringing Australia back into the match.
West Indies are seeking their first Test win over the Aussies in nine years, and first series victory in close to two decades.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 449
(S. Chanderpaul 103; D. Warner 2-45)
AUSTRALIA 1st Innings
(overnight 248 for five)
E. Cowan c wkpr Baugh b *Sammy 14
D. Warner c Bravo b *Sammy 42
S. Watson c wkpr Baugh b Roach 39
R. Ponting run out (Brathwaite/+Baugh) 4
*M. Clarke c Deonarine b Bishoo 73
M. Hussey c wkpr Baugh b Roach 48
+M. Wade c Bravo b F. Edwards 28
P. Siddle c K. Edwards b F. Edwards 0
R. Harris not out 68
B. Hilfenhaus b Roach 24
N. Lyon not out 40
Extras (lb16, w5, nb5) 26
TOTAL (9 wkts decl’d; 145 overs) 406
Fall of wickets: 1-50 (Cowan), 2-65 (Warner), 3-84 (Ponting), 4-133 (Watson), 5-215 (Clarke), 6-249 (Hussey), 7-250 (Siddle), 8-285 (Wade), 9-329 (Hilfenhaus)
Bowling: F. Edwards 31-4-92-2 (nb3, w5); Roach 29-8-72-3 (nb1); Bishoo 45-10-125-1(nb1); *Sammy 21-6-65-2; Deonarine 19-5-36-0
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings
A. Barath b Hilfenhaus 2
K. Brathwaite c wkpr Wade b Hilfenhaus 0
K. Edwards lbw b Hilfenhaus 1
D.M. Bravo c wkpr Wade b Siddle 32
S. Chanderpaul c wkpr Wade b Harris 12
N. Deonarine not out 20
+C. Baugh not out 2
Extras (lb1, nb1) 2
TOTAL (5 wickets; 38 overs) 71
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Barath), 2-3 (Brathwaite), 3-4 (K. Edwards), 4-17 (Chanderpaul), 5-67 (Bravo)
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 10-4-17-3; Watson 6-1-16-0; Harris 3-1-14-1 (nb1); Siddle 9-2-11-1; Lyon 9-4-10-0; *Clarke 1-0-2-0
Position: West Indies lead by 114 runs with five second innings wickets standing
Umpires: I. Gould (England), A. Hill (New Zealand)
TV umpire: M. Erasmus (South Africa)
Match referee: J. Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: G. Brathwaite (Barbados/West Indies)