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Australia have West Indies on ropes in second Test, aim for 4-day win

The West Indies, set a daunting target of 392 to win, limped to 16-2 at stumps on day three at Sabina Park. The fiery Starc removed both openers for ducks to end with 2-1.

cricket Updated: Jun 14, 2015 07:08 IST
Australia vs West Indies,Steve Smith,Michael Clarke

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc took two cheap wickets following half-centuries from Shaun Marsh, David Warner, and Steve Smith on Saturday as Australia looked set to beat the West Indies without needing to go the distance in the second Test.

The West Indies, set a daunting target of 392 to win, limped to 16-2 at stumps on day three at Sabina Park. The fiery Starc removed both openers for ducks to end with 2-1.

Marsh (69) and Warner (62) shared an opening stand of 117 to consolidate the advantage Australia seized earlier in the day by claiming a first-innings lead of 179. Smith, following his career-best 199 in the first innings, finished unbeaten on 54 when captain Michael Clarke declared with half an hour remaining in the day.

Earlier, Jason Holder and Josh Hazlewood shared the morning honours with Holder dominating the Australia bowlers to the tune of 82 not out off 63 balls. The tall all-rounder blasted 12 fours and two sixes in his counter-attacking knock which helped the West Indies avoid the follow on as they stretched their total from an overnight 143-8 to 220 all out.

Hazlewood, who had three wickets on Friday, finished the innings off with the final two wickets to end with 5-38. It was his second Test five-wicket haul.

Holder and the level-headed Kemar Roach shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 77 to lift home spirits. Holder was severe on all the main bowlers, with two lofted fours over cover in Hazlewood's second over signalling his intent. He also walloped Hazlewood over long-off for six.

Holder brought up his 50 off 48 balls, with his second six sailing over long-off from Nathan Lyon's offspin. He continued to find the boundary before Hazlewood removed Roach and last man Jerome Taylor in the space of three balls to end the innings. Roach feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who claimed his fifth catch of the innings.

The West Indies bowlers were then frustrated by Marsh and Warner. The left-handed pair began cautiously before blossoming to reach their half-centuries midway through the day. Warner struck seven fours and a six off 110 deliveries before Roach (1-26) claimed him to a top-edged pull 20 minutes before tea.

Marsh brought up his 50 soon after Warner, but he fell in the final session when well set, dragging left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul to midwicket. The left-hander hit nine fours and a six off 153 balls in three and a quarter hours.

There were to be no more breakthroughs for the hosts as Clarke declared at 212-2 soon after Smith notched his half-century, which was spiced with five fours and a six.

Starc broke the back of the top order in his first over. Kraigg Brathwaite chased a wide, full delivery and dragged onto his stumps off the inside edge, and Rajendra Chandrika edged an airy drive low to gully. Chandrika, in his first Test, became the second West Indian to fall for a pair of ducks on debut, following left-arm spinner Alf Valentine in 1950 against England.

Australia nearly claimed a third before the close, but Darren Bravo was reprieved by TV review after being given out lbw to Lyon. The left-hander went to the close on 8 not out with Shane Dowrich unbeaten on 1.

First Published: Jun 14, 2015 06:52 IST