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April 10, 2012
News : Injury-prone Harris hopes to last an entire series
News : 'Batsmen underestimate me' - Sammy
Features : No. 3 not so elementary for Watson
Features : Wade feels the reassuring fizz
Opinion : West Indies must put past behind them
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of West Indies
Drive of the day
Ryan Harris had managed one early boundary, a flash between slips and gully, but the best indicator of what was to come arrived when Darren Sammy pitched full and straight. This was a pitch on which most of the Australian batsmen had found driving difficult but Harris met the ball with a beautiful full face of the bat and timed it between the umpire and the non-striker for a pristine boundary. He was to be in for the longest haul of his Test career, dragging Australia into a position from which defeat was made far less likely than victory.
Swat of the day
Matthew Wade spent a teeth-gritting 97 balls and 125 minutes over his debut innings of 28, and was distraught when it ended with a flat-footed drive at Fidel Edwards and an edge to Darren Bravo at second slip. His first reaction was to swat his bat angrily in the general direction of the stumps, going close to emulating Curtly Ambrose on this ground in the fourth Test against England in 1994, or Chris Broad against Australia in the 1988 Bicentenary Test at the SCG - two more famous instances of a dismissed batsman whacking his wicket out of the ground. By missing them, Wade was also likely to have avoided an appointment with the match referee, Jeff Crowe.
Declaration of the day
For 77 runs and 25.4 overs, Harris and Nathan Lyon frustrated the life out of the West Indies bowlers and fieldsmen, pushing the innings past a delayed lunch, then drinks, and finally to the outskirts of tea. Michael Clarke watched much of the stand in his whites from the team viewing area, clearly mulling over the best time to declare should the last pair not be separated. In the end he waited until there was time for a mere five overs before the interval, a period the home openers stood to gain little but lose a lot. As he has so often proven during his captaincy so far, Clarke's timing was impeccable. A tired and muddled West Indian top order gave up three wickets to the precision of Ben Hilfenhaus, as the visitors made the very most of the movement and variable bounce offered to them by the new ball.
Plan B of the day
Save for Lyon's spin, Australia's first innings angle of attack to Shivnarine Chanderpaul had been primarily from over the wicket. By the time he marched off the ground with an unbeaten 103 to his name, the tourists conceded via Shane Watson that a new approach was needed. Bowling to him a second time around with the ball still new, Hilfenhaus and Harris whirred in at Chanderpaul from around the wicket, negating his opportunities to deflect through the offside and offering the possibility of an outside edge if the ball grabbed at any of the rough. Harris would carry out the plan to perfection, squaring up Chanderpaul with a ball that angled in then straightened, taking a clear edge through to Matthew Wade.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough