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Stuart Clark’s triple blow leaves Windies stuttering

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It was a mixed day for West Indies at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica in the first Test against Australia. Having restricted the Aussies to less than 450, the West Indies batting started solidly until Stuart Clark spoilt the fun taking three wickets in succession. The West Indies though ended the second day’s play on a brighter note through a nice unbroken partnership for the 4th wicket between Runako Morton and Shiv Chanderpaul.

The pitch played its trick on the second day to bring in lot of interest in the Test Match. It gave the batsmen on both sides a tricky challenge with the bounce being either on the higher side or on the lower side. Australia starting the day at a commanding 301/4 collapsed to 431 all out. Wickets went down at regular intervals, but somehow the Aussies got to the good total thanks to fireworks from Andrew Symonds, who got stranded on 70* (from 115 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes). Overnight batsman Brad Hodge had gone onto make 67 (from 122 balls with 9 fours and a six) while night watchman Mitchell Johnson frustrated the Windies with a 53-ball stay.

For the West Indies, Fidel Edwards continued his impressive performance to finish with 5 for 104 although his economy rate is on the higher side touching almost 4.00. Medium Pacer Darren Sammy got a couple of wickets while all other used bowlers for Sarwan got a wicket each. West Indies had to start their innings a few overs before Tea and they got themselves to a decent start but couldn’t sustain that for a long period. One change bowler Stuart Clark made good use of his height and the unpredictable nature of the wicket to bring the Aussies back in control.

The big wicket for the day for the Aussies was that of Sarwan who was undone by the extra bounce from Clark. The West Indies Captain lasted just the 9 balls after replacing opener Devon Smith, who made 32 before getting bowled by Clark. The other opener Brenton Parchment didn’t make any sort of impact and became the third victim for Clark. The remaining part of the day’s play was seen through safely by Morton (23* from 53 balls) and Chanderpaul (25* from 56 balls) to take their team to 115 for 3 in 37 overs. Stuart Clark had superb figures of 8-1-18-3 by the close.