Windies facing another Australian rout
Kingston: West Indies lost both openers to Mitchell Starc and were 16 for two at stumps after being set a daunting target of 392 by Australia on the third day of the second and final Test at Sabina Park.
With a first innings lead of 179, the visitors’ openers David Warner (62) and Shaun Marsh (69) compiled an opening stand of 117 on the way to individual half-centuries and Steve Smith followed his first innings 199 with an unbeaten 54 yesterday.
Skipper Michael Clarke then determined that, at 212 for two in the final session, the tourists had enough runs on the board and challenged his bowlers to make early inroads in eight testing overs before the close of play.
Starc was on target immediately, bowling Kraigg Brathwaite off the inside-edge and drawing a loose drive from fellow-opener Rajendra Chandrika to be caught at gully.
Both failed to score, Chandrika enduring the indignity of a “pair” on debut, just the second West Indian in the history of Test cricket to have such a chastening experience.
Darren Bravo, who had an lbw verdict off spinner Nathan Lyon overturned on review, will resume on the fourth morning with the inexperienced Shane Dowrich and the odds heavily in Australia’s favour to complete victory and a 2-0 series sweep with a day to spare.
Jason Holder put smiles on glum West Indian faces at the start of the day, blazing an unbeaten 82 to ensure that the home side, beaten by nine wickets inside three days in the first Test, avoided the follow-on.
With the home side in deep trouble at 143 for eight overnight, Holder stole the spotlight with a brilliant, counter-attacking innings.
He belted 12 fours and two sixes, the second of the towering hits taking him to his second Test half-century, off just 63 deliveries.