After the Australians handed a cricket lesson to the West Indian team with a 9 wicket victory in the first test at Dominica, Kingston the venue for the second test gives a chance to the hosts to come back into the 2 match series.
Irresponsible cricket form the West Indian batting order saw them collapse in both the innings of the first test. The game which ended in less than 3 days would have been a reality check for the hosts about their growth in the world of cricket.
The second test started at the Sabina Park on Thursday. West Indies, who won the toss chose to field first and put the Australians to bat unlike in the first match. Bishoo, the best bowler for the Windies in the first test was carrying an injury and had to sit out. Samuels was also injured and Gabriel was given a break as Chandrika and Permaul were given a chance.
For Australia, Chris Rogers could not recover in time for the match and Marsh continued in his place and opened the innings along with David Warner. Jerome Taylor who took the new ball gave the perfect start for the hosts. He got a ball to rise of a length and found the edge of Warner’s bat in the 3rd ball of the first over. Warner went without scoring. Australia were 0/1 after the first over.
Roach the new ball partner however, was all over the place and released all the pressure applied by Taylor from the other end. But Taylor who was bowling beautifully got Marsh lbw from around the wicket. He was gone for 11 as Australia were now 16/2.
Roach continued to leak runs even as Taylor bowled without giving a run in his first 6 overs.
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But Roach got Clarke caught and bowled with a short delivery. But Clarke was asked to come back as Roach was seen overstepping the crease. Australia were given a reprive as they could have seen themselves at 22/3 but for the no ball.
Both batsmen looked settled after the incident and took the team to lunch without further damage with the score at 91/2. After lunch as well, the pair came out positively scoring runs at ease as West Indies found it hard to contain the flow of runs.
Smith reached his half century in style and was looking confident. But Clarke at the other end nicked one of Jason Holder for 47 and Australia were now 134/3. Smith was joined by Voges, who looked at ease straight away.
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By the tea break, Smith moved to 86 and Voges was confidently on 18. Australia resumed play after tea at 170/3. Smith continued his great form with his 5th century in the last six tests. He reached his hundred as Australia went past 200 with just 3 wickets down.
However, it was Jerome Taylor once again, who broke the partnership of 76 as he got Voges driving away from the body and found his edge. Ramdin completed an easy catch behind the stumps and Australia were now 210/4 with more than 20 over’s left in the day.
Shane Watson joined Smith in the centre and made sure that the Australians end the day without losing any more wickets. Smith was looking more and more comfortable as the day passed on. He ended the day on 135 and Watson remained not out on a patient 20 of 59 balls.
Australia ended a pretty decent day at 258/4. With runs on the board, they will come out on the second day will want to bat West Indies completely out of the game before having a go at them.
West Indies, who have already shown their weakness in the batting order will have to grit it out in their innings if they want to get anything out of the game as Australia are well poised to score big.
These permutations makes the second day even more interesting as we may well see the game which is kind of in the balance at the moment turn towards the team which grasps the opportunities.