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West Indies survive to fight another day
by Jinu Sabastian


Ground:Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth
Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:DJ Bravo, CH Gayle, N Deonarine, BP Nash
Event:West Indies in Australia 2009/10

DateLine: 19th December 2009

 

West Indies continued to show a stomach for fight as the batsmen battled hard to live another day to fight. Though it would take a miracle of sorts for West Indies to win the final Test the way the team fought back after the drubbing at Gabba will give it's die-hard supporters something to cheer about.

 

The day began with the Australian score reading at 137 for 8 with 345 runs ahead, but Bravo and Benn ensured that the hosts did not add much to the score with both of them picking up the last two wickets. McKay got the innings underway with a boundary of the first ball of the day but the tailender failed to survive for long when he gave a simple catch to covers of a tireless Benn. Bravo then closed the innings when Hauritz (11) failing to add to his overnight score edged to slips as Australia suffered a collapse of stunning proposition. Bravo's three wickets kept his side in the game on the fourth day and he collected 4 for 42 while Benn finished with 3 for 29.

 

The Australian bowling unit led by Bollinger and Johnson employed short pitched bowling tactics to restrict the West Indian openers from scoring. Gayle in particular was very uncomfortable with the strategy as he on many occasions was caught napping. Dowlin (22) played a rasping cut through point to try and neutralise the ploy but the Australian bowlers were persistent with the tactics and finally the diminutive right-hander pulled one straight to square-leg where Clarke took an easy catch as West Indies suffered an early jolt. Gayle (21) was unfortunate to be dismissed when a ball from Watson lobbed towards Haddin as West Indies slipped to 52 for 2. Sarwan and Deonarine played for lunch but disaster struck Windies when at the stroke of lunch Sarwan's intended cut was gobbled up by Haddin and the Windies were reduced to 68 for 3 at lunch.

 

Post-lunch the Australian bowling unit could not separate the pair of Deonarine and Nash as the two southpaw put up a strong resistance. The pair showed admirable fighting spirit as they warded off an ineffective Australian bowling unit. The pair mixed caution with aggression as they made sure that the score kept moving. More importantly the pair did not let themselves be bogged down as the Australian bowlers resorted to run restricting talents. With no break-throughs coming the Australian side began to show signs of desperation as they began to appeal frequently. With his regular bowlers unable to provide any sort of break through Ponting resorted to the off breaks of North with the hope that the West Indian batsmen might lose their concentration.

 

Both batsmen were helped by an illness to Mitchell Johnson, who was limited to seven overs, while Hauritz was also not feeling his best. The closest chance came when Deonarine edged just short of Michael Clarke at first slip while Nash was an lbw candidate to the offspinners. Of the bowlers only Bollinger looked threatening as the left arm quickie ran in hard and even had a few choice of word to try and upset the batsmen. For the entire second session the Deonarine and Nash held firm to thwart the Australian bowlers as the pair added 128 runs in 48.1 overs to set a base for a possible exciting run chase before Watson struck. Deonarine (82) was cleaned up by the all-rounder and soon the hosts began to apply the pressure. Bravo (1) succumbed to the pressure as he lashed loosely at a wide one from Johnson straight to Hussey at gully and soon West Indies were 197 for 5.

 

Nash remained on 48 for more than 37 balls and 73 minutes but the left-hander showed commendable composure as he was prepared to wait for that loose ball and when he got one he guided it past the slips to reach a well deserved half-century. Ramdin (14) tried be positive but he dragged one from McKay to be bowled as the bowler claimed his first wicket in Test cricket. When the new ball was available Ponting claimed it immediately and Bollinger struck when Nash (65) misjudged an off-cutter and shouldered his arms only to see his off stump pegged back. With seven wickets down Australia claimed the extra half an hour to finish of the innings.

 

Benn (33) and Rampaul (10) threw their bat around but Johnson removed both the batsmen in a single over. Roach and Tonge continued to frustrate the Australians as they got West Indies past the 300 run mark and ended the day at 308 for 9.

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