Australia take control on Day 2

Australia have taken control of the first test after some good lower order batting and some quality seam bowling on Day 2 today.

A fast bowling exhibition from Glenn McGrath has left the West Indies with an up hill battle at the end of the second days play in the first Test. McGrath claimed 4/58 to leave the West Indies 182/6, still 353 runs behind the Australian first inning of 435. Denesh Ramdin is not out 12 and Daren Powel is not out 4.

Play started 27 minutes late due to inclement weather, but from the start the Australian batsman made their intentions clear with both Shane Warne and Brett Lee playing their shots. Warne fell first, LBW to Fidel Edwards for 47. The partnership between Lee and Warne realised 75 runs and really consolidated the Australian position. Lee was the next to go, dismissed by Daren Powel for 47, but not before he struck one of the biggest sixes ever seen at the Gabba. Nathan Bracken fell for an entertaining 37, his highest Test score, just after lunch. Corey Collymore was the most successful of the West Indies bowlers claiming 4/72.

The West Indian batsmen made their intentions clear from the outset of their innings, showing little respect for the Australian bowlers, maintaining a scoring rate of around five runs per over. Glenn McGrath calling on his experience quickly adjusted his line, from one outside off stump ‘to just trying to hit the top of off stump’. This enabled him to claim the wickets of opener Chris Gayle (10) and West Indies number three Ramnaresh Sarwan (21) both caught by Adam Gilchrist. The West Indies were 74/2.

A watchful Brian Lara and Devon Smith then put on 60 runs for the third wicket, and seemed to be batting the West Indies into a sound position, however a very dubious LBW decision against Lara (30), saw them collapse. First a great catch by Nathan Bracken at mid off helped Shane Warne claim the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for just 2. Then McGrath had Marlon Samuels (5) caught behind. The biggest blow for the West Indies was delivered just before stumps when Devon Smith’s four hour vigil came to a close; he attempted to leave a ball from Glen McGrath outside off stump, only to see it jag back and bowl him.

Devon Smith (88) played a fine innings, and although lucky at times he showed a good array of shots, and a willingness to get behind the ball. There did seem to be an awful lot of ‘chat’ directed at the young opener by the Australian fieldsman.

Shane Warne is bowling with a lot of bounce and has bowled more googlies in this innings then in a number of years. It would be surprising if the Australians in-force the follow on if the West Indies fail to reach the target (236) as Warne would cause a lot of headaches if they are forced to bat last on this pitch.

Australia 435
Ricky Ponting 149, Shane Warne 47, Brett Lee 47
Corey Collymore 4/72, Daren Powell 3/100

West Indies 182/6
Devon Smith 88, Brian Lara 30
Glenn McGrath 4/58, Shane Warne 1/43

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Archie Mac