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The West Indies batsmen crumbled late on Sunday to leave their team teetering at 91-6 and staring at another humiliating defeat at the close of day two of the second Test against Australia.
The dramatic collapse in the final session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground left the tourists 261 runs short of making their hosts bat again.
Steven Smith and Adam Voges each scored unbeaten centuries before the Australia captain declared at 551-3, adding to the pair of tons scored by their top order team mates Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja on day one.
Darren Bravo was 13 not out at stumps, with debutant paceman Carlos Brathwaite on three, and West Indies’ hopes of keeping the three-match series alive all but dashed.
Pacemen James Pattinson and Peter Siddle grabbed two wickets apiece along with spinner Nathan Lyon as the Caribbeans floundered on a drop-in wicket that has offered little assistance for the bowlers.
“All you can say to them is that you have another chance to bat on that wicket which to me has been a batting paradise, as much as I’ve seen for the two days,” a deflated West Indies coach Phil Simmons told reporters.
West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Rajendra Chandrika had done well to negotiate a nervous hour before tea but their hard work was undone straight after the break by Lyon.
In his first ball of the session, the offspinner dismissed Brathwaite for 17, the Barbadian prodding a simple catch to Joe Burns at short leg.
Chandrika held on for another half-hour but was out lbw for 25 off Pattinson after failing to play a shot.
Pattinson needed only three more deliveries before dismissing Marlon Samuels lbw for a duck.
On 18, Jermaine Blackwood survived a contentious review decision after spooning a shot to Burns who claimed a low catch at short leg but was denied the wicket by the third umpire.
Blackwood was gone soon after for 28, however, skipping down the wicket at Lyon only to prod a weak shot back to the spinner.
Burns secured the fifth wicket for Siddle with a leaping catch to dismiss wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for a duck and the paceman bowled Jason Holder with his next ball.
A straight bat by Brathwaite denied Siddle a second career hat-trick.
Smith earlier raised his 13th Test century and walked off unbeaten on 134 on the declaration, his sixth Test ton for the year.
Voges was also unbeaten on 106, his fourth Test century and second of the series following his unbeaten 269 which set up a crushing victory in the series-opener in Hobart.