Ton-up Smith led Australia to 258-4
KINGSTON: Australian Player Steve Smith’s ninth Test century in 28 games anchored Australia 258 for four at stumps on day of the second and final Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park on Thursday opening.
Needing victory to square the series after a complete loss of nine wicket within three days in the first test of Dominica, the Caribbean side did not help their cause after early strikes by Jerome Taylor with the new ball.
They wasted at least two clear opportunities to reduce the progression of the tourists’ depleted side and give them a better chance of upsetting test cricket’s second placed team.
Smith, who will resume on the second morning on 135 after 357 minutes at the crease during which he hit 16 fours and two sixes off 278 deliveries, was missed by Darren Bravo to first slip off the part-time bowling Kraigg Brathwaite an hour in the day’s final session.
The Australia vice-captain was also pardoned by means of television technology in the same score, 109, that replays resulted in the reversal of an lbw verdict awarded by referee Richard Kettleborough a vehement appeal Taylor, outstanding West Indies fast bowler.
“It was very difficult at first, but it became easier as the day progressed,” Smith said.
“I work really hard in the nets. This and patience in the middle seem to work well for me.”
Taylor, who finished with three for 18 off 15 overs, was a model of precision and efficiency from the beginning of the day, removing David Warner for a duck in the first over, caught by Shai hope to the third sheet, and fellow opener Shaun Marsh leg before for 11 shortly after to be 16 for two.
It should have been 22 for three when Michael Clarke, over three years, arose a catch back to Kemar Roach off his own bowling.
But the captain was given a reprieve when the request Kettleborough for a television replay confirmed that the fast bowler, not for the first time in his international career, was not pressed.
Captain Antilles Australia made the salary, contributing a fluent 47 in a third wicket partnership of 118 run was ended when Clarke edged an off-road fast bowler Jason Holder tried to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
“We started well, but it got more difficult as the day progressed,” Mr. Holder said about the field day for the home team.
“We have to get away with a few early wickets first thing tomorrow back in contention.”
Clarke was the only wicket to fall in the session the afternoon as Adam Voges, fresh from a first unbeaten 130 at Windsor Park a week earlier, certainly played for 37 helping Smith put on 76.
With Roach and frontline spinner Veerasammy Permaul, both playing in place of unfit Shannon Gabriel and colleagues Devendra Bishoo, unable to stem the flow of runs, it was left to Taylor to design another breakthrough, Voges from how his captain.
Shane Watson (20 steps) face some challenges putting on 48 for the fifth wicket with Smith by proximity as the Caribbean, in what seemed an unusual defensive stance, refused to take the second new ball when it became due when the final hours.
The side of the house has suffered setbacks before the game with their most experienced batsman Marlon Samuels, excluded due to illness while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo’s finger badly bruised on his bowling hand has not healed enough for him to be considered.