Smith holds firm to thwart West Indies

Smith holds firm to  thwart West Indies

Australian closes in on double century even as wickets fall

By (AFP)

Published: Sat 13 Jun 2015, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:47 PM

Kingston — Steve Smith held firm even as wickets fell with Australia reaching 350 for eight at lunch on the second day of the second and final Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park on Friday.

Having provided the foundation around which the tourists’ first day effort of 258 for four was built, Smith started sedately before getting back into stride in the second hour, progressing by another 40 runs in getting to 175 not out.

On the plus side for the West Indies, Jerome Taylor made good use of the second new ball in completing the fourth five-wicket innings haul of his Test career and third on his home ground.

Amid overnight speculation as to the reasons why the home side did not utilise the second new ball when it became due an hour before the end of play on day one, Taylor wasted no time in getting among the wickets when it was eventually taken at the start of play.

He bowled Shane Watson for 25 offering no shot and then dispensed with Brad Haddin, whose defence was breached after he had raced to 22 off 23 deliveries, improving his figures at the break to an impressive five for 38 off 23 overs. During the course of his innings Haddin became just the fourth player to compile 3,000 Test runs at number seven in the batting order.

Interestingly, the other three were his predecessors as Australian wicketkeeper-batsmen — Adam Gilchrist, Ian Healy and Rod Marsh. Kemar Roach shrugged off his inconsistent and expensive effort on the first day to claim the wicket of Mitchell Johnson when Darren Bravo held on to the head-high catch at first slip.

Jason Holder then accounted for Mitchell Starc, raising the prospect of the West Indies finishing off the Australian innings before lunch.

But Josh Hazlewood, promoted by one spot in the order after a 97-run last-wicket stand with Adam Voges in the first Test in Dominica a week earlier, survived a second spell from Taylor while Smith accelerated at the expense of Veerasammy Permaul. Hazlewood resumes with Smith in the afternoon session only because Denesh Ramdin missed a stumping chance off the suffering left-arm spinner.

Australia won the first Test by nine wickets inside three days in Dominica last week.

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