West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 1st day

One ball, many questions

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day in Port-of-Spain

Daniel Brettig in Port-of-Spain

April 15, 2012

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A

David Warner shows his frustration after edging to slip, West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, April 15, 2012
David Warner's unconvincing form against spin continued when he edged to slip © AFP

Recall of the day

The sixth ball of the match, delivered by Fidel Edwards, created a veritable trove of ambiguities and intrigues. Edwards moved the ball back into David Warner, the ball flicking pad, maybe bat and perhaps even stump on its way through to Carlton Baugh. West Indies appealed for caught behind and Marais Erasmus raised his finger, but before long Darren Sammy withdrew the hosts' appeal because Baugh had not taken the catch. Had Sammy waited until the umpires resorted to television replays he may have seen Warner depart anyway, for the vision revealing the absence of any bat also showed that batsman could have been given out lbw.

Introduction of the day

Shane Shillingford's first over of the Test caused plenty of eyes to narrow in on the Port-of-Spain pitch, to see how much spin and bounce would be on offer to the slow bowlers. Australia's best judges reckoned it worthy of twin spin, and Shillingford would back up their summation of the surface by turning the ball appreciably. Warner has not been entirely comfortable against the turning ball so far in his Test career, and when Shillingford tossed his fifth ball higher, Australia's opening batsman walked into a drive and snicked straight to slip.

Afternoon greeting of the day

The surface continued to assist Shillingford throughout a long and exacting spell. But his most notable delivery gave Ricky Ponting a fright on his return after lunch. Second ball of the afternoon session, Shillingford pitched an off break on a good length outside off stump. It failed almost entirely to bounce, forcing Ponting to jam down desperately in defence of his stumps and his pads, the edge trickling away and leaving all batsmen on both sides with an indicator of what they may expect later on in the match.

Assist of the day

Kemar Roach blasted out Ed Cowan and Ponting in a swift spell opposite the parsimonious Shillingford either side of lunch. But to dismiss Ponting, Roach required the help of two team-mates in the field. A delivery angled into Ponting and moving subtly way touched the former captain's outside edge and flew through to Baugh, on the ground where he made his debut against Australia in 2003. However Baugh was unable to take it cleanly, the ball popping out of his gloves and rebounding to Sammy to claim it before it fell to the turf. Having been run-out in the first innings in Bridgetown then bowled by a shooter in the second, Ponting's been a little short of luck in the Caribbean and here his run continued.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by W_indian on (April 16, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

We take licks -left-right-center. I'm happy the young lads putting up a fight its about time we get back to the top. Auzzies fishing in the caribbean sea. They playing cricket as thought they are not aware of the caribbean pitches. luckly they pull off a close one the last time but i do hope sammy learn some vital elements to lead and to make bold decisions. Clerk flip flops alot i just want to know honestly if they had loose the last test if he would have had shoulder to take the critics. 2nd Test on 1st day WI won and i hope they knock them over early and set tuff target for them this time.

Posted by Meety on (April 16, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

@C--H - I agree, it's interesting that Cowan got bagged on the online commentry & by posters on this site for being too slow in the run chase, then it comes out that he was following PRECISE instructions from Clarke! Can't win with some people!!!!!

Posted by Aussasinator on (April 16, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

I feel Ponting should continue for some time. Till he's thoroughly reduced to shambles. He won't leave until he's thrown out.

Posted by C--H on (April 16, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

I actually don't see why everyone's bashing Cowan. He's doing his job (that of taking the shine off the ball and not immediately falling) extremely well. Sure, he's not scoring very much, but he consistently stays in for a reasonably long amount of time and reliably adds 20-30 runs almost every time he plays. Eventually he'll be able to score more and stay in longer, but if you want fireworks, look to the other batsman in the opening partnership. He's never made the No.3 do the opener's job.

Posted by Vindaliew on (April 16, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Ponting's dismissal had nothing to do with luck. If it was dropped it would have been luck, but if you edge to the keeper it's a poor shot - the fact that it was a rebound off a drop takes nothing away from the bowler, and gives no credit to the batsman.

Posted by johntycodes on (April 16, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

I reckon the DRS system in this match has a technical fault in it. Cowan was given out lbw even though no part of the ball hit him in line.

Posted by Patchmaster on (April 16, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

Jees.......if Aus struggle against WI bowlers, they're gonna get whooped by ENG, who have faster bowlers, better spinners and better catchers. Roll on the Ashes !

Posted by Vasi-Koosi on (April 16, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Lot of questions on Ponting, Indians gave him a lifeline with 2 hundreds; The first was a scrapping innings and the second was against a team which had no clue; yes the 100's can be counted; but ponting did not answer any questions properly... This might be his last innings, sad as it might sound, some folks are destined to hang up after an away game...

Posted by   on (April 16, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Ponting definitely is not the same old. Indian bowling is very generous ad they made it looks as if Ponting is back to vintage form again. In fact there is question mark about Warner too. He is not very convincing. He can play well against mediocre medium pacers but I am sure the English bowlers will be looking forward to bowling to him. Ed Cowan can defend but where are the big scores that an opener should score? If the Aussies think they have a team to win the Ashes they are in for a rude shock. The bowling seems to have recovered lately but apart from Clarke, Watson and an aging Mike Hussey, the rest of the batting is very suspicious and ripe for the picking!

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (April 16, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

I wouldn't be too quick to jump on Ponting yet. He's gotten out to a runout which isn't a sign of a downturn in his batting, apparently a shooter in the 2nd innings of the first test and got a pretty good delivery last night. Any right hander could have nicked that ball. If he doesn't make runs in the rest of the series then the selectors might have to consider things but really the only batsman who's definitely worth their place currently in Clarke, everybody else has questions to answer and I don't know that there's really anybody playing domestics who has really staked a clear claim to a spot.

Posted by Bluntman on (April 16, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

I am a West Indian but I think one shouldn't call for Ponting's head just like that. Times like these are when ppl forget about the many things he did for Australia. He deserves more than that.

Posted by   on (April 16, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

Sammy tried too hard to be a hero too early ! In withdrawing the appeal .

Posted by Claydo78 on (April 16, 2012, 1:05 GMT)

You people bashing ponting are a disgrace and if your Australian, I'm ashamed to call my self one! The bloke scores a mountain of runs against India (it doesn't matter India were sub par, he still has to go out and score runs) and still you people are calling for his head, I dare you to name one bloke in state cricket averaging over 50 for more then two seasons and is in good form that could do a better job! Anyone who knows there cricket will say d.hussey and I agree, he should be in the team but not at punters expense! The selectors won't pick him because of his age, which is another disgrace! As long as you are scoring runs it shouldn't matter if your 15 or 50!

Posted by Chris_P on (April 16, 2012, 0:50 GMT)

@nlambda. Have you seen the way Punter has got out the 3 times? He was run out by Watson, got a shooter in the 2nd innings & then in this innings got a ball that bounced high & awkwardly off a length, hardly the type of dismissals you can lay blame to form. I am always in agreement to review players on form, but Punter has got the short end of the stick in all 3 digs.

Posted by mngc1 on (April 16, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

An appeal is normally "Umpire?" of "How's That?" I have never heard an appeal "Caught ? "The umpire does not normally say "Caught" or" LBW". I did not see the incident but the umpire may have judged him LBW. So why did Sammy withdraw his appeal? Once he did the umpire would not have to decide. Sounds like one of the dumbest things that I have ever heard in cricket

Posted by Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on (April 16, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

The TV commentators seemed adamant that, had the Windies withdrawn the appeal for the catch only and not the appeal altogether, Warner would have been out LBW and had Warner appealed this would have stayed out as the question of whether the ball pitched in line or was tracking toward the stumps were both 'on field call' decisions. I'd have thought it was up to the umpire to overturn himself on one or both of these counts if he chose to, as the finger went up apparently for the caught behind decision. Can anyone shed light on the rules in such a case?

Posted by nlambda on (April 15, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

Ponting has been in decline for a while now. His batting gave the false impression of having recovered after plundering runs against our (Indian) weak bowling attack. But now after one spike the trend has returned. I know he is playing on for Ashes 2013, but I feel that series will be a struggle for him IF the Eng bowlers bowl 80% as well as they did against Ind and Aus last year.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

@Stephen Terrill - mate please re-read the last sentence! == == == I like attritional cricket, but I hate pitches that on the first day have situations like "...Shillingford pitched an off break on a good length outside off stump. It failed almost entirely to bounce..." I don't mind pitches turning on Day 1, but I really can't stand variable bounce on the first Day. IMO - variable bounce belongs to late on Day 3 onwards, (preferably Day 4). No problems with low slow pitches as per the 1st Test, although I don't think it generally leads to high quality cricket, remembering that for most of the first 4 days of the 1st Test it was tight but unremarkable cricket.

Posted by phermon on (April 15, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

G'day Stephen, and once you've looked at what would you do?

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

Oh Stephen!! This man has had a few outs but really!!

Posted by HatsforBats on (April 15, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

No luck for Ponting; Watto the natural disaster runs him out, then he gets bowled at ankle height. Now he gets a ball that spits off the pitch at 140kph and once again people will be calling for his head.

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

Ponting was a great batsman. Making a gazillion runs against a pedestrian Indian non-attack doesn't mean he's back to his former glory. For the sake of his fans, I hope he fires in the Caribbean!

Posted by   on (April 15, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

I think Ponting's place in the team needs to be looked at again?.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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