WI meet defiant Watson, Clarke
PORT OF SPAIN, Australia – West Indies toiled with limited success, as Shane Watson and Michael Clarke undertook a repair job for Australia before tea in the second Test on Sunday here.
Kemar Roach scalped Ricky Ponting for the only West Indies success before Australia reached 132 for three at the break on the opening day at Queen’s Park Oval.
Roach has taken two wickets for 58 runs from 12 overs, but Watson was on 44 not out, eyeing his second successive half-century, while Clarke was not out on 21.
West Indies met defiance from the duo and they have so far added 49 for the fourth wicket, a partnership that was essential, after Ponting fell for seven, 20 minutes after the resumption from lunch.
Roach squared Ponting up with a superb out-swinger and the former Australia captain edged to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, who muffed the catch, only for alert West Indies captain Darren Sammy to pouch the rebound at first slip.
In the face of tight bowling, Watson and Clarke played positively, collecting runs on both sides of the wicket, as they revelled on a lifeless pitch.
Earlier, West Indies grabbed two wickets in the morning session, as Australia, choosing to bat, reached 74 for two at lunch.
The West Indies new-ball attack of Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach failed to make a breakthrough, as left-handed openers Ed Cowan and David Warner survived a testing opening burst to put on 53 for the first wicket.
On a pitch offering precious little assistance to the faster bowlers, the new ball pair of Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards bowled impressively to beat the bat on several occasions.
West Indies turned down an appeal, when Warner appeared to be caught behind for four off the sixth ball of the innings from Edwards, but Sammy indicated the ball had not carried to Baugh.
TV replays showed however, that the ball had brushed the pad – and not the bat – on the way through and there was a strong case for an lbw verdict.
Both batsmen rode their luck before off-spinner Shane Shillingford, playing his first Test in nearly two years, got the breakthrough with the fifth ball of his first over, when he had Warner caught at slip for 29, driving at a delivery that turned fractionally.
Cowan’s labour ended 14 minutes before lunch, when he played across a delivery from Roach that straightened and was adjudged lbw for 28.
Both sides made two changes.
For the Windies, Kieran Powell and Shillingford replaced new vice-captain Kirk Edwards, who has been sidelined with an injury to the back of his knee, and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.
For Australia, James Pattinson and Michael Beer have been brought in for Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris.
The hosts trail 0-1 in the three-match series, following a three-wicket defeat in the first Digicel Test, which ended last Wednesday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
West Indies are seeking their first Test win over the Aussies in nine years, and first series victory in close to two decades.
AUSTRALIA 1st Innings
D. Warner c *Sammy b Shillingford 29
E. Cowan lbw b Roach 28
S. Watson not out 44
R. Ponting c *Sammy b Roach
*M. Clarke not out 21
Extras (lb3) 3
TOTAL (3 wkts) 132
M. Hussey, +M. Wade, J. Pattinson, B. Hilfenhaus, N. Lyon, M. Beer to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Warner), 2-65 (Cowan), 3-85 (Ponting)
Bowling: F. Edwards 11-6-22-0; Roach 12-2-58-2; *Sammy 12-4-16-0; Shillingford 16-2-20-1; Deonarine 5-0-13-0
WEST INDIES: A. Barath, K. Brathwaite, K. Powell, D.M. Bravo, S. Chanderpaul, N. Deonarine, +C. Baugh Jr, *D. Sammy (captain), S. Shillingford, K. Roach, F. Edwards
Umpires: M. Erasmus (South Africa), I. Gould (England)
TV umpire: A. Hill (New Zealand)
Match referee: J. Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: J. Wilson (Trinidad & Tobago/West Indies)