Dwayne Bravo’s third Test century ensured a healthy total for West Indies but their fighting efforts were overshadowed by a controversial umpiring review that ended Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s push for a hundred. West Indies must win to keep the series alive and Bravo’s 104 gave them hope, although on a good batting surface six opening-day wickets wasn’t a bad result for Australia.
At stumps, West Indies had moved to 6 for 336, which augured well for a better contest than in Brisbane. Darren Sammy provided some late-afternoon highlights with a pair of sixes down the ground off Nathan Hauritz and he was 44 not out at the close, with Brendan Nash also on 44, having earlier retired hurt.
Bravo rode his luck to reach triple figures after being dropped three times but Chanderpaul’s fortune ran out when he was on 62. Chanderpaul was given out caught-behind off Shane Watson and was the victim of a successful review for Australia after Mark Benson initially denied Australia’s appeal.
Hot Spot did not carry the right angle to show an edge but a camera view from the long-on region seemed to show a slight deflection as the ball passed the bat. It was far from conclusive evidence and nor was the decision a blatant shocker - those are the calls the review system is designed to eradicate - but the third umpire Asad Rauf was convinced and sent Chanderpaul on his way.
Chanderpaul had earlier survived a similar review off Doug Bollinger on 38, when again the evidence was inconclusive despite the Australians being utterly convinced that he had edged the ball. The eventual dismissal was a major blow for West Indies and things went from bad to worse when in the same over Denesh Ramdin played on to give Watson his second wicket.
Watson was pleased to redeem himself after his comical mishap gave Bravo a reprieve on 59. Bravo hooked Peter Siddle and Watson tried to snare the catch at deep square leg but stumbled back and lobbed the ball up as he realised he would step over the boundary. He tried to reclaim the catch after jumping back into the field of play but stumbled and parried the ball over for six.
Bravo had already been dropped twice on 46, though both were tough chances - a caught-and-bowled that rocketed back to Siddle and an edge off Hauritz that ricocheted off Brad Haddin and was missed by Michael Clarke at slip. Bravo wasn’t about to be discouraged from playing his shots and brought up both his half-century and his hundred with drives that sailed over the bowler’s head and away to the boundary.
But Bravo was being far from irresponsible in his strokeplay; he was patient and waited for his opportunities, and a crunching, classic cover-driven boundary off Watson was especially attractive. It was his first Test century in four years, since he made 113 in Hobart in 2005-06, and though he eventually missed a straight ball from Hauritz and was bowled, it was just the sort of innings that West Indies needed to lift their spirits after their innings loss at the Gabba.
He had the perfect ally in Chanderpaul, who had looked out of sorts in Brisbane but here compiled his first half-century in his past eight Test innings. As expected, Chanderpaul scored the majority of his 54 runs behind the wicket but also drove well and enjoyed a lovely clip off his toes for four through midwicket off Mitchell Johnson.
The 116-run stand was comfortably West Indies’ best partnership of the series, which made it all the more frustrating for them that it was ended in such debatable style. The pair had come together after Nash retired hurt on 20 during the lunch break, having been struck on the arm by his former flat-mate Johnson in the final over before the interval.
It left West Indies in a spot of bother after they lost three wickets in the opening session, including Ramnaresh Sarwan, whose return from a back injury ended on 28 when he drove Johnson on the up to Clarke at point. The early damage came from Bollinger, who had been waiting 11 months for his second Test and picked up two wickets in his first five overs.
Bollinger’s first two went for 18 as Chris Gayle, who had chosen to bat, launched an early assault. The bowler’s confidence improved when Adrian Barath (3) pushed a catch to gully and the major prize followed when Gayle tried to cut too close to his body and was surprised by extra bounce, which was unusual for an Adelaide pitch, and was caught behind for 26.
There was no doubt about that decision. If only the same could have been said later in the day.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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