|Scorecard:||Australia v West Indies|
|Player:||MJ North, CH Gayle, DJ Bravo|
|Event:||West Indies in Australia 2009/10|
DateLine: 27th November 2009
Australia have already started to look as favourites for the first Test even though just two days of the game have been completed. First the home team pushed their total to a good 480 for eight before declaring and then by the close of the play on Day Two, the tourists were awfully struggling at 134 runs losing 5 wickets. Though the Windies openers started well still a plethora of wickets in the session after tea spoiled their day.
Earlier in the day, Australia resumed on 5 for 322 and Marcus North continued playing a watchful innings trying to push Australia to a good first innings total. Pretty cautious at the start, North hit his first boundary of the day with a straight drive off Kemar Roach in the same over he was struck on the arm by a short delivery. The left-hander could only add 27 runs in the first session and this unusual silence finally took its toll as he swung his bat to a wide delivery from Bravo and could only edge it for Denesh Ramdin to take an easy one.
Haddin though was aggressive as usual and started with a magnificent straight six off Bravo which he followed with a cut. He though started to play with fire and in the process gave Ravi Rampaul his first Test wicket on 38 with an edge to Ramdin. The wicket brought an end to an 84-run stand and gave West Indies hope to polish the hosts quickly. Mitchell Johnson called for a review after he was given out caught behind to Sulieman Benn. The replays were not conclusive about an edge, and hence under the new guidelines the original decision stood and he left with Australia 7 for 386.
Though at one end North was careful in his 79 off 157 balls, Hauritz merrily continued to play shots and peaked with a couple of pulls in an over from Bravo. The right-hander remained unbeaten on 50 and batting alongside him when a surprise declaration came was Peter Siddle on 20. Ponting declared 35 odd minues before tea to see whether there is some nervousness in the Windies openers.
Chris Gayle though showed no signs of rustiness and started aggressively as after the first three overs of West Indian batting the run-rate had zoomed to 8 runs per over. The left-hander opened with three crunched fours forward of point off Ben Hilfenhaus and when Ponting packed of the off-side field he flicked Peter Siddle to square leg in his own unique style. Debutant Adrian Barath though survived a close run-out running for his first run as Clarke missed out on the timber. Barath turned out to be lucky again before tea when Siddle over-stepped and an edge was taken by a flying Brad Haddin to no benefit.
Post the tea interval though the script changed for the hosts. Hilfenhaus pushed Gayle on the backfoot and then threw an overpitched delivery. Gayle missed it and the ball wrapped him on his pads. Though the West Indian skipper took a referral, it was only surprising why he took it since he was plumb in front even for the naked eye.
Barath's lucky run also ended a couple of overs later as he edged one from Johnson, to Watson behind the wicket. Nine runs and three overs later, the tourists suffered another telling blow as Shivnarine Chanderpaul played back to a Siddle delivery and was hit on the pad, looking plumb again even to the naked eye. He though it seems took the referral on the basis of his reputation as a player but the decision again turned out to be an easy one for the TV umpire.
Post tea disaster continued for the Windies as this time it was Bravo turn to head to the pavilion. He edged one low to 3rd slip where Watson just managed to snare it. The umpires decided to chat and then again went to Mark Benson who after half a dozen replays gave it in favour of the home side.
Brendan Nash and Travis Dowlin then took over the proceedings and made sure no further damage was done for a brief while. The duo added 33 runs before Nash who looked comfortable playing at the Gabba in his brief stint tried to cut a bouncer length delivery from Watson, only succeeding in getting a top edge and Haddin leaped into the air to hold the chance.
Dowlin maintained his composure and alongside Denesh Ramdin who started off in a uncharacteristic aggressive fashion took the attack to the home side for a while. They finally ended the day still 346 runs behind the hosts.