A fine opening spell from West Indies captain Darren Sammy and a terrible mix-up that saw Ricky Ponting run out has given the home side the edge on the third day of the opening Test on Monday. Sammy took two early wickets to restrict Australia to 133 for 3 at lunch. The visitors,resuming on 44 for no loss in reply to the West Indies total of 449 for 9 declared,lost their way when facing Sammys medium-pacers.
Ed Cowan departed first,edging to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh on 14. Having added only one run to his overnight score,Cowan was drawn into a shot just outside off stump and edged through to the keeper.
Shane Watson was fortunate to survive twice when on 5. He left a Sammy delivery alone that came back and hit his pad outside off stump but the referral went in favour of the batsman,if only just.
Sammys persevering line just outside off stump worked again when David Warner (42 off 55 balls) played at a ball without much foot movement and Darren Bravo took the catch at second slip. Sammy finished the session with 2-14 from 10 overs.
After the early scares,Shane Watson settled a little but Australias struggles continued when Ricky Ponting was run out for 4 after a mix-up,leaving the score on 84 for 3.
Watson turned a Fidel Edwards delivery to fine leg and always wanted a second run but Ponting hesitated and perished when Kraigg Brathwaites throw found both batsmen in the same half of the pitch. Despite Brathwaite throwing the ball at the wrong end,there was so much confusion between the two batsmen that Ponting didnt have time to make his ground. He showed his frustration as he started his walk back.
Devendra Bishoos leg breaks were causing few problems but one stayed low in the 36th over and when Michael Clarke,on 21,cut at the ball the West Indies went up for a catch behind. Umpire Tony Hill raised his finger but the third umpire Marais Erasmus overruled the decision after Clarke called for the referral. Watson then added 49 with captain Michael Clarke,who struck a six and a four in 27 not out.
With the Australian skipper having been in such good form in recent Tests,that decision could turn out to be a key moment in the match.
Brief scores: West Indies 449/9 decl; Australia (at lunch) 133/3 in 42 overs (D Warner 42,S Watson batting 39,M Clarke batting 27; D Sammy 2/14)