West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Antigua, 4th day June 2, 2008

'My best spell with the old ball' - Lee

Cricinfo staff
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Brett Lee: "There are days when it just clicks, and those moments, those six overs, are the reason why I play Test cricket" © AFP
 

Brett Lee ended the day with a sore head and an incorrect dismissal, but the incidents could not stop him glowing about the destructive spell that earned a five-wicket haul and kept Australia in the hunt for victory. Lee finished West Indies off for 352 in an incredible contribution that was helped by the umpire Russell Tiffin, who made three incorrect calls.

After being wicket-less in his first 16 overs, Lee discovered some lethal reverse-swing and delivered a series of unplayable balls to finish with 5 for 59 off 21. "I do think it is definitely the best spell I have bowled with the old ball," Lee said after play. "It's probably the most I have ever moved a ball - it's gone late too."

Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy were undone by the vicious movement and judged lbw by Tiffin despite playing shots and the ball hitting their pads outside off. Three Lee deliveries before Sammy went Dwayne Bravo was ruled to have edged behind, but the only concession to the umpire was that Lee was operating at 90mph and everything seemed to happen in fast forward.

"There are days when it just clicks, and those moments, those six overs, are the reason why I play Test cricket," Lee said. "It happened easily. I wasn't trying to bowl the ball too fast, the ball came out perfectly."

Australia refused to take the new ball and Lee started his final spell in the 94th over. "The conditions were perfect [for reverse-swing], when I looked at the ball it was spot-on," he said, "scuffed-up on one side."

Lee was called on late in the day to bat as Australia reached 244 for 6. He made an eventful 4 in an innings that included being struck in the helmet by Fidel Edwards before he was ruled caught-behind to the last delivery before stumps. The ball struck his arm, but it could not ruin his memorable day.

"To pick up five wickets is always a bonus, but for me it is always about trying to get that breakthrough and hopefully try and get into a position where we can win the Test," he said. "Hopefully we have done a pretty good job there." Australia have an overnight buffer of 371 and Lee will need to contribute heavily again on the final day if his side is to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.