Sport Cricket Windies show ticker but Aussies in control

Windies show ticker but Aussies in control

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It was a long way removed from Curtly Ambrose’s famous run-ins with Australia but West Indies finally showed some fire in the second Test on day three.

Unfortunately for the tourists it was too little, too late and too lippy at the MCG.

Australia were 3-179 at stumps on Monday, holding a 459-run lead and all the aces.

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Yet there were plenty of reasons James Pattinson described it as a the most competitive day of the series, given the visitors resumed at 6-91 and managed to reach 271.

A desperate 81 from Darren Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite’s freewheeling 59 was followed by Australia slipping to 2-46 in their second dig.

Darren Bravo
Darren Bravo showed some fight with a swashbuckling 81. Photo: Getty

It didn’t change the course of the game – Steve Smith’s unbeaten knock of 70 made sure of that.

But there was no hint of indifference as the fired-up Caribbean youngsters successfully riled David Warner, the only member of Australia’s top five yet to score a ton in the series.

Debutant Brathwaite and captain Jason Holder, who had both been niggling Warner, combined to dismiss the opener and celebrated wildly.

“I tried to show some aggression,” Brathwaite said.

“It’s a war between bat and ball and West Indies and Australia.

“I don’t take anything off the field personally and if the opportunity presents itself to have a drink with him after the Test (I will).”

Joe Burns was out edging to Holder for four, when Australia’s vice-captain started to swap barbs with the opposition’s two biggest bowlers.

“You like that, you like a bit of a contest. It’s really good to see a bit of fierce rivalry there,” Pattinson said.

“Both teams are trying pretty hard.

“West Indies have come into this innings and a had a little bit to say to Davey.”

James Pattinson
James Pattinson was fired up. Photo: Getty

Pattinson, who claimed four wickets, suggested it wasn’t nasty from either party.

“It was all good. I wasn’t out there but it looked all good from where I was watching,” he said.

Pondering whether to promote Mitch Marsh up the order – to give the allrounder rare time at the crease this summer – was one of the few headaches for Smith.

Marsh finished 18 not out, having come out at No.5 ahead of Adam Voges, while Smith lifted his year’s tally to 1473 Test runs.

Yet the fact Smith chose not to enforce the follow-on was a moral win for a side seriously low on morale.

It could have been a different story.

Brathwaite was out on 13 and 50 in the morning session but the allrounder was recalled both times when replays showed Pattinson overstepped.

Pattinson acknowledged it was an issue he had to work on but the Victorian was ready to bend his back on day four.

“We had an easy game in the last game so it’s time to step it up and hopefully bowl a few overs in this one,” he said.

“It’s a tough wicket out there.

“They bowled pretty well in tough circumstances … they’re 300 behind and could easily have just dished up a few half-volleys for us.”


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