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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A taste of the subcontinent as Australia graft in Port of Spain T2D1

Australia 5/208 (90ov, Watson 56, Clarke 45) v West Indies: T2/3 D1/5 at Port of Spain, Trinidad.

208 runs in a full day? This was another, like some of those in T1, redolent of 1950s Ashes matches or more recent subcontinental contests.

The team selection reflected each side's expectations of the wicket. Australia omitted Peter Siddle (minor injury) and, surprisingly (and unwisely?) Ryan Harris the T1 player of the match. In came James Pattinson and Michael Beer.  West Indies dropped Devendra Bishoo for Shane Shillingford and replaced the injured Kirk Edwards with Kieran Powell.

Michael Clarke won the toss, Australia batted and began breezily enough, adding 53 for the first wicket while the ball was new and the bowlers quick. But once the spinners came on the ball gripped and the scoring rate dropped. Wickets fell, not as frequently as the West Indies would have wished, thanks to decision reviews (Michael Clarke very fortunate to escape an lbw) and some poor catching.

Shane Watson's patient 56/172b (7x4) underpinned the innings after a slight wobble to 3/84 (including another Ricky Ponting failure). He added 84 for the fourth wicket with Clarke, who seemed to have ridden his luck before being caught pulling a Narsinghe Deonarine long hop for 45/99b (8x4). Watson followed shortly afterwards caught at short leg off Shillingford whose 32-11-56-2 attest to both his accuracy and the demons stirring in the pitch.

5/178 wasn't good but at least Mike Hussey, who was also missed in the field,26*/83b (2x4) and Matt Wade 11*/47b (1x4) hauled the total beyond 200. It doesn't look enough, especially with no Harris (or Siddle) in the lower order, but it's too early to call. Australia will be pleased with 300: West Indies must try to keep plugging away and get over their umpiring disappointments and fielding lapses.

Fox Sports report with link to video highlights
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