WI still hold the aces
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Four wickets – two apiece to Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards – before lunch gave West Indies a tighter grip on the first Digicel Test against Australia on Tuesday, despite a rearguard, career-best from Ryan Harris.
Roach captured three wickets for 72 runs from 29 overs and Edwards grabbed two for 84 from 28 overs, as the Australians, replying to the Windies’ first innings total of 449 for nine declared, reached 366 for nine at the lunch interval on the fourth day at Kensington Oval.
The hosts would be greatly disappointed they failed to bowl the Aussies out before the interval however, as an unbeaten 60 from Harris helped eliminated West Indies’ hopes of a large first innings lead.
Roach gave 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 produced an unplayable snorter, which Peter Siddle cuffed to gully, where new West Indies captain Kirk Edwards held a smart catch moving to his right. He made zero, 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 Fidel Edwards had Wade caught at second slip for 28, driving loosely at a delivery outside the off-stump.
West Indies met further resistance, when Ben 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 full-length delivery, at which the batsman swung and missed.
West Indies claimed an additional half-hour to try and claim the final Australia wicket, but Harris and Nathan Lyon defied the home team for close to an hour.
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 60
B. Hilfenhaus b Roach 24
N. Lyon not out 16
Extras (lb13, nb5) 18
TOTAL (9 wkts) 366
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: Edwards 28-3-84-2 (nb3); Roach 29-8-72-3 (nb1); Bishoo 39-10-111-1 (nb1); *Sammy 17-5-50-2; Deonarine 19-5-36-0
Position: Australia trail by 83 runs with one first innings wicket 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)