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Aussies fight back strongly to grab initiative

Related Links : Australia’s Tour of West Indies 2008 Scorecard

The third and final Test between West Indies and Australia at the Kensington Oval is becoming more and more exciting as it goes along. The second day’s play on the fast wicket produced 13 wickets in between some brilliant strokeplay. At stumps, Australia have a slight edge with an overall lead of 70 with all their second innings wickets intact.

Earlier, Windies failed to seize the initiative with the bat in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 251. The hosts were bowled out for 216 and at stumps, Australia were 35 for no loss in their second effort with the bat. Jaques is on 13 and Katich is on 17 as the first session of the third day’s play is likely to indicate which team will be in the driver’s seat. It was Australia’s first innings that resumed this morning with three more wickets remaining. The visitors could add up just another 25 runs to their overnight total of 226 for 7 as Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor cleaned up the innings. Australia got bowled out in 68 overs and Mr.Extras played an important part in contributing as many as 36 out of the 251 runs.

West Indies in their reply were on the backfoot losing its openers including that of Skipper Gayle (14) in just the 5th over. Brett Lee took both the wickets and was joined by Stuart Clark, who removed the dangerous looking Sarwan (20 from 25 balls with 2 fours and a six) to make it 64 for 3. Windies then got their innings back into shape through Chanderpaul and the young Xavier Marshall and at lunch were at 89 for 3. In the afternoon session, the Aussies concentrated on putting a lid on the scoring rate which brought them the wicket of Xavier Marshall (39 from 61 balls with 6 fours). After that Chanderpaul found another useful partner in Dwayne Bravo to produce the best phase of the day’s play.

Both Chanderpaul and Bravo took on the debutant chinaman bowler Beau Casson to get some quick runs which put the pressure back on the bowling side. But a comeback spell for the wicketless Mitchell Johnson after Tea produced the turning point of the day. Johnson was too hot to handle for the West Indies as they collapsed from 168 for 4 to 216 all out in about 14 overs. The left armer had first removed Bravo (29 from 57 balls with 4 fours and a six) to break the 5th wicket partnership which was worth 60. After that Chanderpaul had to watch like a spectator at the other end and was left stranded with an unbeaten 79 from 142 balls which came with 12 fours and a six. Johnson finished with 11.5-3-41-4 while Brett Lee played a big part with 15-2-64-3.

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