Saturday, December 19, 2009

Aussies on the verge of win

Third Test Match
Australia 520-7 dec (S M Katich 99, S R Watson 89, B J Haddin 88, M E K Hussey 82, M J North 68) & 150 v West Indies 312 (C H Gayle 102, T M Dowlin 55, D E Bollinger 5-70) & 308-9 (N Deonarine 82, B Nash 65)

West Indies remain in with a chance of recording a stunning victory in the third Test against Australia after compelling day at the WACA.

However, it is the hosts who stand on the verge of sealing a 2-0 series triumph with the tourists set to resume the final day on 308-9, still 51 shy of their victory target.

West Indies skittled the Aussies out for 150 in their second innings, removing the last two wickets for the addition of 13 runs, before setting about their improbable run chase of 359.

Several players made starts but it was a partnership of 128 between Narsingh Deonarine and Brendon Nash for the fourth wicket that kept Windies' hopes alive.

Resuming after lunch with the score at 68-3, there appeared little chance of them securing the seventh-highest run chase in Test history, especially with explosive captain Chris Gayle back in the sheds.


Gayle was dismissed before lunch by Shane Watson, but the Australian bowler's explosive celebration in Gayle's face could see him join team-mates Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson on report for bringing the game into disrepute.

The West Indies also lost opener Travis Dowlin for 22 and Ramnaresh Sarwan for 11 to the last ball before lunch, but against all odds, the inexperienced Deonarine, only in the side after Adrian Barath injured his hamstring, produced a well-timed half-century, going to tea unbeaten on 67.

Former Queensland batsman Nash provided solid support with 42 as the left-handed pair batted throughout the entire session, leaving them with 185 to get.

Deonarine had moved to 82 when the stand was finally ended, Watson again in the thick of the action as he uprooted his stumps, Deonarine having struck 10 fours and two sixes.

Johnson then removed Dwayne Bravo for one before Clint McKay bowled Denesh Ramdin for 14 to leave the Windies reeling on 231-6.

Worse was to follow when Nash, the last recognised batsman, was bowled by Doug Bollinger for 65 having hit seven fours in a 183-ball vigil, and with him appeared to go the tourists' victory hopes.

However, some spirited hitting from the lower order added a further 63 runs before the close, Sulieman Benn making 33 off 28 balls before Johnson struck again, the left-armer also getting rid of Ravi Rampaul (10).

But the final pair of Kemar Roach (13no) and debutant Gavin Tonge (12no) held firm, putting on 29 to thwart Ricky Ponting's side, who must come back in the morning to complete the win.

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