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Australia in sight of victory – 3rd Test vs. West Indies

Zia Rana April 26, 2012

West Indies 218 and 173-5 (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 69, Darren Bravo 45, Michael Clarke 3-34) requires another 197 runs to beat Australia 328 and 259 (Ricky Ponting 57, Ed Cowan 55, Shane Shillingford 4-100)

Michael Clarke - Decisive bowling in the second innings

Michael Clarke - Decisive bowling in the second innings

Michael Clarke led Australia well by clinching three important wickets in the second innings of West Indies as the visitors anticipate a win.

Australia amassed 328 runs in their first innings and folded back the innings of West Indies for 218 runs thus gained a lead of 110 runs. The Kangaroos were bowled out for 259 runs in their second innings and they set a hefty target of 370 runs for the Windies to win the match who are reeling at 173 for the loss of five wickets with one complete day left in the match.

The fourth day’s play came to an end on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica.

Earlier, Australia initiated the day at 200 runs for the loss of six wickets in 65 overs whereas Michael Hussey and Ryan Harris were at the crease with 17 and 4 runs respectively. Hussy started the proceedings with a four on the first ball and carried on pushing his score to 32 when he was caught by Darren Sammy in the slip off Shillingford. The seventh wicket was lost at 220 runs and the next two wickets were taken by the home side with the addition of 17 runs in the total.

Mitchell Starc resisted for some time and scored 21 runs before he was bowled by Kemar Roach and the Aussies’ second innings came to an end on 259 in 85 overs at a run rate of 3.04 and a target of chasing 370 runs was set for the Caribbeans.

The off spinner, Shane Shillingford was the star performer with the ball with four wickets and became the only spinner to grab 10 wickets in a match for West Indies since 1966. The great off spinner of his time, Lance Gibbs clinched 10 wickets against England in the first Test of the series played at Old Trafford, Manchester on June 2, 3 and 4, 1966. Kemar Roach and Narsingh Deonarine assisted him well in the second innings by holding three wickets each.

West Indies went into chase in a dismal fashion as they lost their openers for just 28 runs and Kieran Powell added their miseries by going back to the pavilion for 24 as the score reached at 45 runs. The Australian captain surprised the home batsmen by claiming the wickets of their opener Kraigg Brathwaite and Powell.

The fighting spirit of Darren Bravo and the experience of Shivnarine Chanderpaul combined together in the demanding situation for the Windies and they started off chasing in a positive manner. They kept score board moving and dispatched the boundaries occasionally and the first hundred of the innings was achieved in the 41st over. Chanderpaul was the most aggressive of the two and attained his fifty in the 55th over and the score touched 150 in the 58th over.

The fourth wicket partnership accumulated valuable 110 runs when the smooth going Bravo was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Shane Watson for 45 runs. The fourth wicket went down at 155 when Narsingh Deonarine came in the park, took guards and supported his partner at the other end. West Indies were shocked on the first ball of the 68th over when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was declared leg before wicket off Clarke for 69.

Deonarine was unbeaten on 11 runs and the new batsman was yet to arrive at stumps on the day four.

Michael Clarke was the most successful bowler among the seven by grasping three wickets whereas Ben Hilfenhaus and Shane Watson shared one wicket each.

Australia is in a commanding position and looks like winning the second Test as West Indies still require 197 runs to win the match with five of their top order batsmen already back to the pavilion.

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