West Indies sneak advantage

Australia

The daily grind of Test cricket saw Australia move to 248 for five on day three of their Test series opener against the West Indies at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Monday.

The daily grind of Test cricket saw Australia move to 248 for five on day three of their Test series opener against the West Indies at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Monday.

Rain and bad light again robbed proceedings of an hour in total, but not before the efforts of captains Darren Sammy and Michael Clarke epitomised the ebbs and flows of the day.

Seamer Sammy landed a couple of early blows in the morning session, removing Ed Cowan (14) and David Warner (42) with near identical deliveries. Both left-handers were left flatfooted by some marginal lateral movement to be caught behind.

Ricky Ponting was then at the mercy of Shane Watson's pitiful communication, which resulted in the run-out of the former captain at the striker's end. Calling for one and then halfhearted and hesitant about the second, a stop-start Watson looked on in dismay as a sharp return from fine-leg saw the bails toppled and a cussing Ponting sent packing in single figures.

The first over after lunch then brought the end of Watson, who was loose on the drive outside his off-stump, with Baugh again behind the edge. Sure to avoid Ponting on his way to the change room, Watson knew full well that he should have made his promising 39 count for more.

That left Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey to collectively orchestrate a fightback. The veteran duo obliged to the extent of 82 runs. Their approach – dogged and determined – thwarted the Windies attack for the better part of 35 overs.

After a 40-minute delay due to the inclement weather, skipper Sammy was able to inspire his side to greater things with a rousing pep talk in the dressing room. The choice words worked, with the departure of Clarke following soon thereafter.

The right-hander, again eager to attack the leg-spin of Devendra Bishoo, didn't quite get to the pitch of the ball and only succeeded in slicing his lofted drive to Narsingh Deonarine in the deep to perish for 73. The long-off fielder almost made a meal of the catch, but his chest provided a fitting enough cradle.

Hussey, shaking off a characteristically nervy start, took the debuting Matthew Wade (19 not out) under his wing en route to an unbeaten 47. Together the pair put on 33 inside 17 overs. There was no frills nor fuss to their stand, just dogged determination as the runs dried up.

The Windies opted against taking the new ball at the turn of the 80th over, instead persisting with Bishoo and fellow slow bowler Deonarine. Boundaries became very far and few between, while the leg-spinner found prodigious turn and bounce from the footmarks.

While sporting the edge, the hosts might yet rue their wasteful use of the Decision Review System. They made the third umpire's job easy, with one particular bid to have Clarke out before reaching 50 laughably off the mark as the angle was headed a veritable Country Mile down the leg-side.

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