The Australians would have been quietly confident of winning the second match of the test series after a scintillating display in the first test at Roseau. They completely outplayed the West Indians and handed them an embarrassing defeat. However, the team from the Caribbean is known for its spirit and everyone can be sure that they will give their 100% in this game to try and get back lost pride.
The first day of the 2nd test at Jamaica saw Australia in a bit of bother early on. But Clarke and then Smith steadied the ship as Smith finished his 5th century in the last 6 tests for Australia. They ended the day on 258/4 with Watson and Smith on the grease.
The Windies would have been quietly confident as Australia did not run away with the game yet and a few quick wickets next morning would bring back balance to the game. They started the day really well as Taylor picked his fourth victim. Watson left one that slightly moved back in and took his off stump. He was out for 25 in the 3rd over of the day and the West Indies could sniff a chance to get back into the game.
Brad Haddin came in and started positively picking away any bad delivery. He was looking dangerous until he gave Taylor a five wicket haul. Taylor found the bat pad gap and knocked the stumps over as Haddin walked back on a quick 22. Australia were now 296/6.
Johnson, who joined Smith didn’t last long as he slashed at a wide one and edged it. Australia reached the 300 mark but were now 306/7. Smith, on the other hand was looking unhinged as he went to another 150. Starc gave him good company by not throwing his wicket away. But Holder got one to move away and rattle Starc’s stumps. He went for 6 as Australia were 330/8 already looking at a challenging score. By lunch, they were 350/8.
Hazlewood was showing good composure after the lunch break but after a 63 run partnership, Smith was picked up lbw by Taylor. Smith reviewed the decision in vain as he had to walk back on unluckily on 199. Australia were 393/9 after the wicket as the West Indian openers were already getting mentally ready to take strike.
Hazlewood tried one too many shots and went for 24 as Australia were bowled out for a respectable 399. They would have been happy given the weakness of the West Indian middle order but knew that they had to be disciplined to replicate the last match.
The West Indies reply did not start well as Chandrika on debut went for a duck. Starc picked his first as WI were 1/1. It was a surprise to see Nathan Lyon on very early in the innings but the move paid dividends in the 8th over. Brathwaite played the wrong line to a delivery that knocked his stump back. He was gone for 4.
Two overs later, Bravo also fell to Lyon. He was gone for a positive 14 as West Indies slipped to 25/3. Dowrich and Hope took WI to the tea break at 35/3 without further damage. However, it didn’t take long for Australia to pick a wicket after break.
Hazlewood got his first as he found the edge of Dowrich’s bat. He was gone for 13. WI were stuttering once again at 44/4. Hope and Blackwood came together and put on a small partnership of 33 before Lyon got another one. His persistent line gave him his third wicket as Hope edged one behind to Haddin. WI were reduced to 77/5 and already looking at a similar result as in the first test.
Blackwood decided that he will play positively and was supported by the skipper Ramdin. He stuck some lusty blows but played sensibly. But Ramdin at the other end could not survive long enough. Hazlewood picked him lbw for 8. Holder and Blackwood also looked confident as Blackwood finished his half century.
But the joy didn’t last long as Hazlewood got his third. He played a lose shot in the air on 51 and WI were 142/7 with still 58 runs needed to avoid follow on. Permaul who joined Holder, didn’t last long as Mitchell Johnson, got his first wicket on the last ball of the day.
He went out caught behind after a review and WI closed the days play on 143/8 and still need 57 runs to avoid follow on. Australia riding high on Smith’s 199 would love to come back and wrap the two wickets quickly and the match also if possible.