West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 1st day April 23, 2012

Shillingford puts West Indies on top


Australia 212 for 7 (Warner 50, Shillingford 4-77) v West Indies
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Get the sign-writer ready. If Shane Shillingford's first day of Test cricket in his home nation was an audition to have a stand named after him at Windsor Park, it couldn't have gone much better. Shillingford finished the day with four wickets and put West Indies in a strong position as the Australian batsmen struggled to handle his bounce and turn, and at the close of play West Indies had given themselves a chance of the victory they needed to draw the series.

Of course, with four days still to play, there was plenty of time for the Australians to fight back. But 212 for 7 was far from the score the captain Michael Clarke was anticipating when he won the toss and chose to bat. David Warner made 50 and Shane Watson scored 41 but neither they nor their colleagues looked truly comfortable, initially against the swing of Ravi Rampaul and then against Shillingford's spin.

At stumps, Matthew Wade was on 22 and had fought hard to survive 72 balls, while the recalled Mitchell Starc was on 24, having struck a six late in the day. But West Indies had taken the second new ball and it was curving in the air enough to challenge the two left-handers, and the morning session on the second day promised to be a tough one for Australia's lower order. Not that it was pace that caused the most problems on day one.

Shillingford, playing in his home country of Dominica, used his height to great effect, troubling the batsmen with bounce and bite off the pitch. He ended the day with 4 for 77 but created far more chances besides those that brought wickets. Ricky Ponting and Clarke had both been especially hampered by Shillingford and he eventually had the reward of removing them both.

Shortly after he passed Rahul Dravid to become the second-highest run scorer in Test cricket, Ponting departed for 23 when he gloved a ball that turned and bounced more than he expected, and Darren Sammy ran around from leg slip to take the catch square of the wicket. A few overs later, Clarke (24) was also done by the bounce and gloved the ball to short leg.

Shillingford's fourth arrived when Michael Hussey, on 10, edged another fine delivery and was brilliantly taken at slip by Sammy, whose reflexes were quick enough that he could run to his left and grab the ball with his arm outstretched. It was a just reward for Shillingford, who had been a threat all day, initially without luck.

Kemar Roach chipped in later in the day with a well-directed bouncer that caught the glove of Ryan Harris on the way through to the wicketkeeper, before Wade and Starc came together. Their partnership had grown to 43 by stumps and the close perhaps came at the right time for the hosts, who can start afresh on Tuesday.

They had started about as well as they could have hoped on Monday. Rampaul, included for his first match of the series after Fidel Edwards was ruled out due to injury, curved his second ball in beautifully and surprised Ed Cowan, who offered no shot and was lbw. The only aspect of the dismissal that did not represent a misjudgement by Cowan was his decision not to ask for a review.

Rampaul was impressive with the new ball, swinging it and troubling the batsmen, and he didn't concede a run until his 17th delivery. He should have had a second wicket when Warner, on 5, edged to third slip but the captain Sammy spilled a simple chance and to add to the frustration for West Indies, Sammy introduced himself in the next over and was duly driven for four by Warner.

Warner and Watson steadied Australia and both men were able to survive, despite looking scratchy early. On the rare occasions that the bowlers overpitched or dropped short, they drove or pulled well, but never did they appear truly settled. Their 83-run stand came to a close when Watson, on 41 from 120 balls, top-edged an attempted pull off Sammy and was caught at deep square leg.

Soon afterwards, Warner, on 50, cut uppishly and was caught at cover point, delivering Shillingford his first wicket, and the Roseau crowd their first moment of home-town pride for the day. There were plenty more to come.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    It should be extremely obvious that what West Indies cricket team needs to push it over the edge is a more than Sammy & Gibson can provide. It is very difficult for mediocrity bundled with ineptitude & naivety/ inexperience to produce consistent and significant success no matter how much passion , commitment and youthful exuberance is in the mix. that is just plain and straight facts.

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    Everybody taking about how good the team look with Sammy as captain but I see no big deal. I am sure all the other major teams dont see anything to make them shiver in their boots either. We are still consistently losing or failing to win matches & entire series that we should/ could have won. looking good for a couple of days or the majority of an ODI & then losing due to batting collapses, ridiculous decision making, incapability of getting rid of tailenders & incompetence in the field is still losing. In spite of the interference of weather at times the West Indies team under Sammy & Gibson has been in excellent positions to win every test & ODI series since they have been in charge including the World Cup yet they have only managed to beat Bangladesh. Am I crazy if I dont believe that is anything to feel extremely supportive & excited about?

  • rsgarcia on April 24, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    @Rickb I must have missed the declaration. And I have noticed that Australia has as much trouble dismissing our tail as we do theirs, so I wouldn't worry unduly over that. The point is not the tail, it's the team score. From this vaunted Australia side, I'll take under 350 and run with it.

  • rsgarcia on April 24, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    @WallyOz, 250 on this pitch? As far as I know, Australia have barely played in Dominica. What other people made years ago is no barometer for today. In any case, I'm comparing apples to apples. 7 wickets is 7 wickets and its more than a little dismissive to assume that you can always dig yourself out of holes like that. I don't think it speaks well to your team that you get into these positions in the first place, never mind Windies doesn't have the bench strength right now to really make you pay. I don't know what your comments about Narine and the English have to do with anything, but I'm here to tell you that the results of this Test match mean less than the results of the tour so far. And so far it's been the Aussies LABOURING to win against vastly depleted and 'inferior' opposition, and not managing it yet. So keep talking about how you know how to 'win'. Apparently so far, you only know how to draw.

  • Rickb on April 24, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    It seems West Indies only aim to get the first five batsmen out and then relax thinking that the others will give their wickets away. From 166-7 to over 3 hundred for 8, will not be surprised if Clarke declares soon.

  • 12thUmpire on April 24, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Shillingford beat Wade in the race to the century! :-)

  • delboy on April 24, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Perhaps its time to toss the ball to Deonarine. There no point bowling Shillingford just so that he gets 5-150. Unless the WI are hoping that the AUS first inning score is enough to guarantee them being allowed to follow on and be bowled out twice the third or fourth day of this test.

  • dummy4fb on April 24, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Don't the West Indian bowling coach teach these bowlers how to bowl to tail-enders? Looks like Australia is set to make 450 judging from the bowling.

  • rsgarcia on April 24, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @ RandyOz you can continue waiting for that poor sod Lyon to be more than a pretender to Ashley Giles. While you're at it, @TheLIght can keep you company. He's waiting for the West Indies to start going backwards to he can froth at the mouth at Sammy some more.

  • OzWally on April 24, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    @rsgarcia, et.al. Australian supporters are still confident at 7 down overnight for 2 main reasons. 1. This team knows how to win matches (8 wins, 2 losses in their last 13) and 2. We are capable of looking back at past matches in the WI and realising 250 on this pitch is a par score. Before you criticize make sure you are actually comparing apples to apples. I don't want to know what England would do to this team in English conditions (irrelavent) or how Indian IPL performances (Narine) make someone a better test player than another.

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