Fragile WI staring at defeat after quick collapse
ADELAIDE, Australia, (CMC):
Shambolic batting on Saturday’s third day left West Indies staring at a heavy defeat in the second Test and teetering on the brink of another emotionally-draining series loss Down Under.
Asked to chase an improbable target of 497 in order to win the day-night affair at Adelaide Oval, West Indies collapsed to 38 for four at the close, effervescent 33-year-old seamer Scott Boland ripping the innings apart in a six-over spell which yielded three wickets for just nine runs.
The Caribbean side had been earlier dismissed for 214 in their first innings after resuming on 102 for four, losing their last six wickets for 112 runs, and conceding a massive lead of 297.
Rookie opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul failed to add to his overnight 47, one of two tragic run outs in the innings – the other being his overnight partner, nightwatchman Anderson Phillip, who rode his luck for 43.
All-rounder Roston Chase, batting at number nine, struck 34 in a 43-run last-wicket stand with injured debutant tail-ender Marquino Mindley (11 not out), as West Indies managed to creep past the 200-run mark.
Australia then piled the pressure on, opener Usman Khawaja (45), Travis Head (38), Steven Smith (35) and Marnus Labuschagne (31) all producing cameos to enable a declaration at 199 for six, about three-quarters of an hour after the final interval.
Shamarh Brooks is forlorn as Scott Boland celebrates his wicket on Saturday’s third day of the second Test.
West Indies did themselves no favours either, Joshua Da Silva putting down Head on 11, diving to his left, and Alzarri Joseph grassing Smith on 27 running in from deep square – both chances coming off seamer Jason Holder.
The shabby outfield effort then fed into the touring side’s reply, captain Kraigg Brathwaite (3), Shamarh Brooks (0) and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (0) all perishing in the sixth over – a triple-wicket maiden – from Boland, before Chanderpaul followed for 17, three overs later, to leave the innings in turmoil.
“It’s not ideal obviously, chasing a big total like that, and with two days still to go,” Da Silva said of his side’s collapse.
“[It’s] not the start we would’ve wanted to our second innings but it happened and the guys coming in, and the guys at the wicket are going try their best and do their best tomorrow.”
He added: “The boys are rallying. We’re here to play cricket … and we’re fighting to the end and as far in as we can go the boys are fighting.”
West Indies’ start to the day was a disastrous one. Without a run added, Chanderpaul was run out off the fourth delivery by bowler Mitchell Starc’s direct hit at the sriker’s end, the left-hander sent back by Phillip as he looked for a quick off-side single.
And eleven balls later and still without any change to the overnight score, Jason Holder nicked a feeble drive low to wickeeper Alex Carey’s right.
Da Silva, who punched three fours in 23 off 38 balls and Phillip, who belted five fours and a six off 78 deliveries, then counter-attacked in a 60-run seventh wicket stand which stitched up the innings and steered the Caribbean side to the safety of the drinks break.
Two balls following the resumption, however, Da Silva played back to off-spinner Nathan Lyon (3-57) and was lbw and more run-out tragedy ensued when Phillips found himself mid-pitch in a mix-up over another sharp single and failed to beat the throw from cover to the striker’s end.
Joseph was lbw to the first ball he faced in the next over from Lyon but Chase ensured the tail wagged by hitting four fours and a six in a breezy 56-ball stay at the crease.
Armed with a commanding lead, Australia rammed home the advantage, Khawaja slamming seven fours in a 50-ball knock as he posted 77 from 85 deliveries for the first wicket with David Warner (28).
When Chase knocked over both at the start of his first over at 78 for two, Smith and Labuschagne combined in a 58-run, third wicket stand to keep the innings purring, before Joseph (3-33) sliced through the middle order.
Left with an enormous task of saving the game, West Indies buckled early to Boland. Brathwaite edged a back foot defensive stroke to the ’keeper, Brooks was trapped plumb lbw two balls later and Blackwood was taken inches from the turf at gully, after being squared up.
And West Indies suffered one final blow at 21 for four when Chanderpaul unluckily tickled a leg-side catch to Carey off left-armer Mitchell Starc, hotspot detecting the faintest of touches after the Aussies resorted to DRS.