Australia vs West Indies second Test hangs in balance after day two

By January 26, 2024
Australia vs West Indies second Test hangs in balance after day two Getty Images

 

The second Test between West Indies and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane remains finely poised after a riveting second day's play. At stumps, the West Indies, who scored 311 in their first innings, were 13 for 1, holding a slender lead of 35 runs after Australia declared their first innings reply on 289-9.

The visitors faced a tricky half-hour's play under the lights, and Tagenarine Chanderpaul became the sole wicket in the last over of the day, caught behind off the bowling of Josh Hazelwood for four.

Earlier in the day, Australia's innings experienced a rollercoaster ride, recovering from a precarious position of 54-5 to declare on 289-9. West Indies' fast bowlers, Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph, wreaked havoc, with Joseph claiming 4-84 and Roach providing crucial support with 3-47.

However, a remarkable counterattacking display by Alex Carey, who scored a brisk 65 in a partnership with Usman Khawaja, and an aggressive unbeaten 64 from Captain Pat Cummins, guided Australia back into contention. The hosts were struggling at 24 for 4 at dinner and 54 for 5 not long after, but the innings turned around with resilient performances.

Carey's innings, reminiscent of the legendary Adam Gilchrist, featured fearless strokes, but he fell for 65 from 49 balls before tea. Khawaja played the anchor role, contributing 75 runs, but was eventually dismissed by Kevin Sinclair. Mitchell Starc's departure on the stroke of tea left Australia in a precarious position.

A crucial moment occurred when a delivery from Shamar Joseph narrowly missed dislodging Carey's off bail, providing a stroke of luck for the Australian batsman. He capitalized on this fortune, striking three consecutive boundaries and displaying aggressive strokes. However, his dismissal at a critical juncture added to Australia's challenges.

In the final overs, West Indies' Chanderpaul fell to Hazelwood, setting the stage for a closely contested Test match. The fate of the game remains uncertain, with both teams aiming to seize control in the upcoming sessions.

At the start of play the West Indies resumed from their overnight score of 266-8 with Kevin Sinclair on 16. Kemar Roach joined him at the crease and together they resisted the Australian attack without much bother.

The pair batted through the first hour without loss with Sinclair doing the bulk of the scoring. The partnership was finally broken after Roach defended a ball to mid-off and called for a single, but Sinclair caught a glimpse of Labuschagne swooping in and made a very late call of no with Roach already halfway down. He slipped over trying to put the brakes on and was run out with ease.

Australia could have removed Sinclair on 30. He poked Pat Cummins straight to gully and Green spilt a sitter at thigh height. The Guyanese bowling all-rounder made Green and Australia pay with some excellent shots thereafter, sweeping Nathan Lyon for four and then lofted him inside-out over mid-off in consecutive balls to bring up his half-century.

He fell next ball, stumped by Alex Carey, for a well-played 50.

Mitchell Starc ended with 4-82 with Hazlewood taking 2-38 and Lyon 2-81.

 

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Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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