West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 2nd day April 16, 2012

Australia take control with early wickets

West Indies 49 for 3 (Bravo 16*, Chanderpaul 1*) trail Australia 311 (Hussey 73, Watson 56, Roach 5-105) by 262 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia took a long time to manoeuvre their position with the bat in Port-of-Spain but far less with the ball. Their total of 311, engineered on the second day by Michael Hussey and James Pattinson, was soon shown in its true value as West Indies stumbled to 49 for 3 at the close with the top order floundering against pace and spin.

Hussey and Pattinson added 89 for seventh wicket as Australia batted through to tea on rain-interrupted day. Their effort was put into greater context when the last four wickets fell for 14 and the swift fall of batsmen continued when West Indies started their reply. By stumps the home side were already facing a daunting task to stay in contention in the match and the series. It seemed, as ever, that their hopes lay largely with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Michael Clarke continued to show the innovative side of his captaincy by handing the new ball to the left-arm spin of Michael Beer, who was playing just his second Test, and he was an immediate threat with deliveries gripping to beat the outside edge. It was Ben Hilfenhaus, though, who struck first with a testing spell of outswing when a delivery straightened on Kriagg Braithwaite and would have clipped leg stump.

Adrian Barath took 26 balls to get off the mark and was soon simply, yet beautifully, set up by Beer. Barath had driven on the up through the covers and Beer responded with a delivery that ripped past a defensive push before sending down the arm ball which trapped Barath on the back foot.

Barath was absolutely right not to review, but the same can't be said of Kieran Powell. He had played a couple of pleasing drives before facing Pattinson's first delivery which swung back into him. Ian Gould gave the decision but replays showed it had pitched outside leg stump. With Australia sensing further inroads Darren Bravo and Chanderpaul did well to prevent a terminal collapse.

West Indies' bowlers cannot be faulted for their endeavours but were not always supported in the field. Hussey passed fifty from 136 balls but should have been removed before the landmark. He was given his second life by Carlton Baugh on 47 when he advanced down the pitch to the probing Shane Shillingford, and was beaten by turn and bounce, only for Baugh to be unable to gather the take to complete the stumping. It was not easy, but should have been taken. On the first day Baugh dropped Hussey on 5 and he made West Indies' job even tougher.

Narsingh Deonarine, who is developing the knack of breaking partnerships, eventually ended Hussey's stay when he lured him into a drive. Soon afterwards Pattinson's equally valuable contribution which spanned 119 deliveries was cut off when a leading edge looped high into the off side to give Shillingford a hard-earned third wicket.

Australia had lost a wicket without adding to their overnight total when Matthew Wade edged Kemar Roach to first slip. Roach and Edwards then gave Pattinson a tough welcome to the crease with a series of deliveries that beat the outside edge while Edwards also struck him on the forearm with a short ball, something Roach repeated later on, but Pattinson stood his ground to provide priceless support for Hussey.

Hussey pulled a rare short delivery from Shillingford through midwicket but the offspinner provided another tough examination for the batsmen. Hussey needed all his skill to survive; sometimes playing from deep in the crease then trying to stretch forward and also employing the sweep.

Pattinson picked off a loose delivery from Darren Sammy with a cut and then slashed another boundary past a diving third slip as West Indies were, once again, frustrated by the batting of one of Australia's bowlers. Although plenty of turn was on offer, the lack of pace in the wicket made it hard work for the bowlers and a couple of edges created by Shillingford did not carry to slip. Edwards, meanwhile, would have just been happy to find the edge as Pattinson continued to play and miss.

Occasionally the dot balls and maidens were punctuated by a boundary, the most empathic of which was when Hussey swept Shillingford into the stands over midwicket. Pattinson did not lose much in comparison as he showed a very solid defensive technique and the footwork to attack rare loose deliveries.

Roach made swift work of the remaining resistance when he bowled Hilfenhaus off his pads and two balls later pinned Beer lbw. To many people's surprise Beer was the man to deliver the next ball of the Test. It was the turn of Australia's spinners, but their quick bowlers were an equal threat.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments