On the ropes

Windies' bats flop yet again

KINGSTON –– Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon took three wickets each to back up Steve Smith’s career-best 199 to help Australia seize control of the second Test against West Indies on day two at Sabina Park in Jamaica today.

Steve Smith smashed a career-best 199.
Steve Smith smashed a career-best 199.

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor took a Test-best six for 47 for West Indies as Australia, resuming on 258 for four, were bowled out for 399 midway through the day. It was virtually a one-man effort from the Jamaican with Jason Holder the only other bowler to provide consistent line and length and to threaten the batsmen.

Jerome Taylor captured a Test-best 6 for 47.
Jerome Taylor captured a Test-best 6 for 47.

Both Kemar Roach and Veerasammy Permaul disappointed with figures of 1 for 113 and 1 for 124 respectively. Offspinner Lyon’s turn and bounce later made it appear as though Permaul had been bowling on a different strip in the Australian innings.

Taylor’s efforts were later not supported by the hosts’ batsmen. West Indies slumped to 143 for eight in reply, still 256 runs in arrears and leaving them struggling to avoid the follow-on.

The 27-year-old Lyon took three for 35 to increase his tally to 144, passing Hugh Trumble (141) as the most successful off-spinner in Australian Test history. The fast bowler Hazlewood grabbed three for 15 from 11 probing overs to continue the growing comparisons to compatriot Glen McGrath.

Jermaine Blackwood gave his home crowd something to cheer about with an aggressive top-score of 51 which included seven fours and a six. But as the day drew to a close he drove uppishly to deep cover and was caught by David Warner off Hazlewood.

 The West Indies’ innings started with debutant Rajindra Chandrika falling early for a duck to an expansive drive and being caught behind by Brad Haddin off the bowling of Mitchell Starc. With a first-class average of 25 and having never scored a century after more than two dozen matches, Chandrika’s dismissal looked a case of massive nerves on the big stage.

The other opener Kraigg Brathwaite continued to show a vulnerability to off-spin bowling when Lyon got one past his defensive prod and castled his stumps. Darren Bravo’s frustratingly casual manner of losing his wicket also continued as he played back to Lyon and was plumb LBW. Shane Dowrich, who had played so well in the first Test, was caught by Haddin from a loose drive at Hazlewood and Hope, after reaching 26 with a few impressive strokes, edged Lyon behind after misreading the line of the ball. Captain Denesh Ramdin’s poor run lengthened when he was struck in front by the admirable Hazlewood.

Earlier Smith stretched his ninth Test century to within one run of a maiden double ton before the lion-hearted Taylor gained a clear lbw verdict with an inswinging yorker. Smith reviewed, more out of hope than anything else, but got no reprieve. It was the second occasion he had fallen so agonizingly close to a double-century.

The 26-year-old Smith’s innings spanned 361 balls and 517 minutes and was laced with 21 fours and two sixes. He was the eighth batsman –– and third Australian after Matthew Elliott and Steve Waugh –– to be dismissed for 199.

Smith, resuming on his overnight 135, anchored Australia with solid assistance from Shane Watson (25), Haddin (22) and Hazlewood (24).

He took his fifth-wicket stand with Watson to 54 before Taylor angled a ball in to hit Watson’s off stump as the batsman played no stroke.

Haddin, dropped at point by Blackwood off Roach when on eight, played aggressively before Taylor grabbed his fifth wicket, bowling the wicketkeeper.

Smith shared a ninth-wicket stand of 63 with Hazlewood to take Australia to a challenging total.

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