ROSEAU, Dominica — West Indies struggled to 75 for three at tea on the second day of the third Test after Matthew Wade’s maiden Test century had led Australia to a first-innings total of 328 Tuesday.
The host enjoyed the better of the opening day but Australia, which lead the series 1-0, dominated the first two sessions to put itself in a strong position in the final match of the series.
West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite fell without scoring, edging Ben Hilfenhaus to first slip Ryan Harris who gobbled up the ball at the second attempt.
Kieran Powell and Adrian Barath made solid progress, putting on 61 before the latter, on 29, lobbed up a bat-pad catch to Ed Cowan at short-leg off spinner Nathan Lyon.
Shortly before tea, part-time spinner Dave Warner removed Darren Bravo in similar fashion, the left-hander’s inside edge coming off his pads and looping up to Cowan. Powell was 34 not out at the interval with Shivnarine Chanderpaul on nought.
The exposure of the fragile character of West Indies’ top order left the Caribbean team trailing by 253 runs with seven first-innings wickets remaining.
A large part of that lead was created by the aggressive Wade who in just his third Test showed great confidence and a wide-range of strokes as he took the game to West Indies.
Wade made 106 from 146 balls, including 10 fours and three sixes, and his positive approach paid off in a 102-run partnership with Hilfenhaus which transformed Australia’s first innings after they had struggled to 212 for seven.
West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford ended with six wickets for 119 runs, his best return in Test cricket although his celebrations were muted after he and the rest of the Caribbean attack struggled in the morning session. The early run out of Mitchell Starc (35) offered the possibility of a swift elimination of the tail but, not for the first time, the Australian lower order showed its quality.
Eschewing the cautious approach taken by the top order batsmen on Monday, Wade went on the attack and his partnership with Hilfenhaus came at twice Monday’s run-rate with the 102 runs coming from 20.1 overs.
Shortly after joyfully celebrating his ton, the left-hander, who replaced Brad Haddin for this series, finally went when he carted Shillingford towards the mid-wicket boundary but Darren Bravo produced a magnificent catch. The Trinidadian was in danger of crossing the boundary rope as he took the catch and he smartly threw the ball back into the playing area, jumped over the line and safely completely the catch. — Reuters