WI remain in the mix
ROSEAU, Dominica – Two wickets before tea kept West Indies in the hunt against Australia in the third and final Digicel Test on Monday.
The Windies captain Darren Sammy and hometown boy Shane Shillingford shared the two wickets, as Australia, choosing to bat, reached 136 for three in their first innings at the break on the opening day at Windsor Park.
The hosts ran into a roadblock either side of lunch, when David Warner and Shane Watson put on 83 for the second wicket.
Kraigg Brathwaite missed a sharp chance at forward short leg to separate them in the first half hour after lunch, when Watson, on 35, tried to turn a delivery from Shillingford into the leg-side and the ball flew from the batsman’s glove.
But Sammy made the breakthrough, when Watson top-edged a hook at a short, rising ball from the West Indies captain and was caught at deep square leg for 41 about 40 minutes after the lunch.
West Indies continued to bowl with discipline and Warner started to grow restless at the crease. He reached his 50 from 133 balls, when he drove Kemar Roach through cover for a single before he mistimed a cut and was caught at cover.
For close to an hour before the break, West Indies created some anxious moments for former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, not out on 18, and his successor Michael Clarke, not out on 15, as they added 31 – unbroken – for the fourth wicket.
Before lunch, Ravi Rampaul made an immediate impact on his return, but West Indies failed to make early inroads into Australia’s batting.
Rampaul removed Ed Cowan in the second over of the morning, but Warner and Watson carried Australia to 69 for one at lunch.
West Indies might have taken a firmer grip had Sammy not spilled a catch at third slip off Rampaul, when Warner, on five, edged a loose drive at a delivery outside the off-stump.
Rampaul gave West Indies an early breakthrough after Australia chose to bat, when Cowan offered no stroke to a delivery that straightened and the left-handed opener was adjudged lbw for one in the second over.
West Indies made one change to their side – Rampaul came in to play his first match of the series, replacing fellow fast bowler Fidel Edwards, whose stiff back put him on the sidelines.
Australia made two changes with Ryan Harris and left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc replacing left-arm spinner Michael Beer and fast bowler James Pattinson, who has returned home to seek treatment on a stiff back.
West Indies trail 0-1 in the series, following a three-wicket defeat in the first Digicel Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados, and a draw in the second Digicel Test at Queen’s Park Oval, which meant that Australia would retain the Frank Worrell Trophy, symbol of supremacy between the two sides.
West Indies are still in the hunt for their first Test win over the Aussies in nine years.
AUSTRALIA 1st Innings
E. Cowan lbw b Rampaul 1
D. Warner c Powell b Shillingford 50
S. Watson c Deonarine b *Sammy 41
R. Ponting not out 18
*M. Clarke not out 15
Extras (b4, lb5, w1, nb1) 10
TOTAL (3 wkts) 136
M. Hussey, +M. Wade, R. Harris, B. Hilfenhaus, N. Lyon, M. Starc to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cowan), 2-84 (Watson)
Bowling: Roach 13-5-32-0 (nb1); Rampaul 13-5-30-1 (w1); *Sammy 13-5-24-1; Shillingford 17-3-38-1; Doenarine 1-0-3-0
WEST INDIES: A. Barath, K. Brathwaite, K. Powell, D.M. Bravo, S. Chanderpaul, N. Deonarine, +C. Baugh Jr, *D. Sammy, S. Shillingford, K. Roach, F. Edwards
Umpire: M. Erasmus (South Africa), A. Hill (New Zealand)
TV umpire: I. Gould (England)
Match referee: J. Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: P. Nero (Trinidad & Tobago/West Indies)