Friday, December 18, 2009

Australia collapse as WI hit back

It was a third day of dramatic collapses in the third Test at the WACA with Australia slumping to 137 for eight in their second innings.

Australia had bowled West Indies out for 312 to set up the game for either side to win on Saturday.

The Windies looked out of the game when dismissed just after lunch, 208 behind Australia.

But Sulieman Benn (two for 26), Dwayne Bravo (three for 34) and Kemar Roach (one for 18) bowled them back into the match with Australia losing seven wickets for 68 runs to establish a lead of 345 at stumps.

The West Indies came into day three on 214 for two in reply to Australia's 520 for seven declared and had made steady progress to be 280 for four at lunch.

But that was when the drama began.

The Windies lost six for 32 after the first interval to miss the follow-on target.

The tourists lost their last four wickets for just two runs off 10 balls, as Doug Bollinger (five for 70) and Nathan Hauritz (three for 66) did the damage.

Australia elected to bat again and were moving on solidly with Michael Clarke and Shane Watson together after Simon Katich was out early for 10.

But the hosts then lost six wickets for 59 runs to slip to 125 for seven with Ricky Ponting coming in at number nine due to a tendon injury in his elbow.

oach immediately came on to pepper him with short balls and after he got one hook shot away, he fended one straight to short leg to be out for two and leave Australia on 134 for eight.

Hauritz and debutant Clint McKay added three more before the close.

Australia were looking comfortable even after Watson joined Katich back in the pavilion for 30 when Gavin Tonge trapped him in front for his first Test wicket.

Clarke came in at number three in place of Ponting and he was caught behind for 25 to spark the dramatic collapse.

Benn came on for the first time to get Michael Hussey out for three, caught at short leg, and he continued to cause headaches as he found great turn and bounce.

Marcus North made no impression either when Bravo bowled a pearler to him that wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin took an even better diving catch off to dismiss him for one.

Benn then got the ultimate revenge on Brad Haddin for yesterday's run-in, having him caught at slip for 23.

Mitchell Johnson didn't last much longer either as he became the third victim of Bravo in a 15-over spell when Johnson's former house mate Brendan Nash took a good catch in the gully.

The West Indies did well to only lose Ramnaresh Sarwan (42) and Narsingh Deonarine (18) in the first session, but after lunch it quickly went pear shaped.

Nash top scored for 44 before being caught off a great catch at slip by Clarke, and then Benn, Ravi Rampaul and Ramdin all fell with the score on 310.

When Bollinger had Tonge caught behind for two he had his first five-wicket haul.

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