West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 4th day April 18, 2012

Roach fires out top order but rain intervenes

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Australia 311 and 73 for 3 (Ponting 32*, Roach 3-27) lead West Indies 257 (Chanderpaul 94, Lyon 5-68) by 127 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Heavy rain on the fourth day in Port-of-Spain severely reduced the chances of a positive result as Australia closed 127 ahead following a hostile spell from Kemar Roach who removed the top of the visitors' batting. Ricky Ponting was threatening to play his first major innings of the series to keep West Indies at bay before the weather closed in early during the afternoon and did not allow the players back.

Roach has been the stand-out fast bowler during a match dominated by spin and added another impressive collection of scalps to his first-innings five-wicket haul. Australia had wrapped up West Indies' innings four balls into the day, to earn a 54-run cushion, and Roach had to wait for his opening spell when Shane Shillingford started the attack alongside Fidel Edwards. Roach, though, wasted no time in making an impact when his turn arrived.

Starting from round the wicket, a line that has troubled Australia's left-handers, he drew an edge from David Warner which carried low to Darren Bravo at first slip. Warner had flirted with the catching cordon during his stay although had started with three crisp boundaries. Then, three deliveries later, Roach beat Shane Watson for pace with a ball that perhaps kept a fraction low and took out the off stump to leave Australia 26 for 2.

It meant another head-to-head between Roach and Ponting which the former won in the first innings. Ponting did not find life easy and could have been run out by Edwards from mid-off when he had given up the chance of making his ground only for the throw to miss and Carlton Baugh had not reached the stumps. A second chance was offered an over later when he lunged at Shillingford and an inside edge carried low to Adrian Barath at short leg who could not hold on.

Ed Cowan had also been offered a life before he had scored and it was the simplest of the lot when he edged Edwards to Darren Sammy in the slips but it went to ground. He was made to battle for his runs, his one release coming when he swept Shillingford for four although the offspinner caused him, and Ponting, plenty of problems and unveiled his doosra during a probing unbroken 15-over spell.

At the start of the afternoon session West Indies spurned another opportunity for a run out, this time to remove Cowan, when Baugh could not produce a good throw to the bowler. Cowan, having once again forged a base for his innings, fell in very similar fashion to the first innings when Roach speared one into his pads from around the wicket which the batsman tried to work to leg. For the second time in the game Cowan tried the DRS but there was no escape.

Earlier in the same over West Indies had used up their first review when Roach jagged a delivery into Ponting which brought a massive appeal. Sammy trusted his paceman's instincts and asked for the TV umpire but, as has often been shown, the bowler is often the least reliable person to ask.

Although Ponting was far from fluent - few batsmen have been on this surface - he was beginning to tick over more comfortably and moments before the rain flicked Shillingford through midwicket with timing that has not often been seen during the match. The contest was at another fascinating stage but was not allowed to progress any further.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 19, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Can any of my West Indian fren tell me whatever happened to Jerome Taylor and Jeramine Lawson? Taylor, Lawson, Roach,Edwards, Rampaul would be a lethal attack.....to be followed by Spinners Bishoo and Narine...

  • heathrf1974 on April 19, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    The West Indies just need about 2 more very good players and they could start winning some test matches. It's good to see they are improving. It's good for world cricket.

  • Mikecricket on April 19, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Rain the blame for this test match if not a result....

  • gloriouscricket on April 19, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Fidel is far from finished; He is bowling well,moving the ball away from the bat taking away the drive from the batsman, good bowling.If his catches aren,t being taken, there isn,t much that he can do.Catches WIN matches. Sammy needs to bowl at least 4 early overs, probing. Put the ball back in Roache,s hand, lets see Deonarine & Shillingford; Bowl all the front line bowlers @ this juncture. Wickets are about to tumble; For those of you who are saying Windies won,t make 200 if given to win, I say Balderbash, hogwash; Bravo, Barath, Brathwaite & co, are just itching to get back @ the Aussies. Sammy should bat early if the Windies are given 200 to win.Reason? He is capable of swinging a big bat, he will be needed to speed-up the run rate: If he goes early, then the harder outs are still there.I would replaced Brathwaite with Dwayne Smith & Baugh with Ramdin,like Baugh, but doesn,t he understand that there are times when he is needed[the sweep shot@ midstump] ,Sammy,s must bat.Windies.

  • wifan16 on April 19, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    You ppl really need to stop asking for sarwan, he can't even make runs for guyana so y should he be included in the test team?..i am a guyanese but will never ask for sarwan inclusion cause he thinks he is too big for the game..

  • baseball_sucks on April 19, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy I can only imagine you're watching this 'forgettable series' as England haven't had a great rack record themselves of late. What was that score line against Pakistan again? All these comments about the Aussies struggling, and yet they're still winning. The WI are showing great fight, still lost the first test, are not going to win this one, will probably lose the third, but people still won't give credit where credit is due.

  • vdm1 on April 19, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Decalre on 240 ahead, let the windies chase it down, go on, be a sport

  • Silva-Surfa on April 19, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    In reply to Ross, couldn't agree with you more on your comments. The Windies are showing more collective fight, than i've seen under previous Captains, Gayle and Lara who had stronger teams on paper. Just when i thought Sammy was working hard on the limitations that he has, his batting performance in the 1st innings was reckless and irresponsible. It's all well and good that he backs his ability and has shown glimpses of his striking power, but to go in a test match innings with the team in trouble and think he can instantly take bowlers to the sword is asking too much, Viv Richards he is not. As the Captain he needs to weigh up the circumstances and play to the situation. Gayle looks like he should be back for the second test against England and his presence at the top of the order, has been sorely missed. And Ponting, might not be the formidable presence he once was, but is still a handful, when he gets his eye in. Could he be back for another Ashes next year?

  • Meety on April 19, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @Snick_To_Backward_Point - well the great thing is you are not an Ozzy, so onya bike!!!!!

  • Front_Foot_Lunge on April 19, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @Meety... This series is forgettable but I have nothing better to do during the day.

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