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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Reality check for Australia v West Indies T1D1

West Indies 3/179 (73ov, Edwards 61, Brathwaite 57) v Australia: T1/3 D1/5 at Bridgetown Barbados

Despite the shared honours in the preceding ODI and T20 contests I didn't expect the West Indies, still minus Chris Gayle, to put up a strong showing against Australia in the Test series. Yet on the admittedly thin evidence of a first day shortened by rain there was cause for West Indian satisfaction in a hardscrabble batting display as well as for Australian concern at the lack of penetration of the attack.

I watched the live TV relay until lunch (approaching 2am in these parts) when the West Indies were 1/60 from 29 overs.

They didn't improve much upon this rate for the rest of the day. Kraigg Brathwaite anchored the innings with 57/199b (4x4) while Kirk Edwards was more positive with 61/107b (1x6, 10x4). Brathwaite batted in the style of the English sides of the 1950 and 60s, middling if not always sweetly timing most deliveries.

The pitch played well yet the Australian attack didn't seem to have the sharpness it had showed in the recent series against India. Most balls from the quick bowlers went through without deviating much so, even if few might have predicted it before the start of play, it wasn't surprising to see Nathan Lyon bowl the twelfth over of the day.  Three missed chances also blotted Australia's copybook and while not letting the home team off the hook the score indicates that the West Indies had slightly the better of the day, though the weather and their circumspect batting means that they are far from dominant.
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