Australia fight back against Windies through Carey and Cummins' fifties

Hosts stay in contention against the visitors at the end of after day two of the second Test in Brisbane


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Australia's Pat Cummins bats during day two of the second cricket Test match between Australia and West Indies at the Gabba in Brisbane. - AFP
Australia's Pat Cummins bats during day two of the second cricket Test match between Australia and West Indies at the Gabba in Brisbane. - AFP

Published: Fri 26 Jan 2024, 6:44 PM

Blistering half centuries by Alex Carey and captain Pat Cummins led Australia’s fightback on Day 2 of the day-night test against West Indies on Friday.

Carey smashed 65 runs off 49 balls and Cummins finished unbeaten on 64 off 73 before he declared Australia’s first innings at 289-9 despite still trailing by 22. The decision to give his fast bowlers a chance to bowl with the pink ball under lights for half an hour paid off.

Mitchell Starc almost had captain Kraigg Brathwaite dismissed in his second over but Steve Smith dropped a low catch in the slips. Josh Hazlewood then found a faint edge from Tagenarine Chanderpaul’s bat in the last over of the day as West Indies reached 13-1 in its second innings at stumps for an overall lead of 35 runs.

Usman Khawaja, who was named ICC test player of the year 2023 on Friday, once again played a meaningful knock of 75, after West Indies’ first innings effort of 311.

Carey provided the bulk of the scoring with his aggressive shots as he raised a 96-run partnership with Khawaja after West Indies fast bowlers Kemar Roach (3-47) and Alzarri Joseph (4-84) had reduced Australia to 54-5 soon after the first session.

Luck didn’t favor young fast bowler Shamar Joseph and Australia could have been 72-6 but his pacey delivery went through Carey’s defenses, kissed the off bail that spun in its groove but didn’t fall to the ground.

Carey’s counterattacking, with nine fours and a six, finally ended when he holed out at deep square leg off Shamar Jospeh but Cummins continued Australia’s aggression with another fruitful partnership of 81 with Khawaja.

Kirk McKenzie missed the stumps which could have run out Cummins before he had scored in the first over of the final session and that cost West Indies as the Australian captain hit eight fours, and a straight six off Roach.

Khawaja was finally dismissed when he edged debutant spinner Kevin Sinclair in the slips but Cummins made a rapid 47 runs with Nathan Lyon before declaring when Lyon edged Alazarri Joseph behind.

Earlier, Smith failed again as an opener and Australia collapsed to 24-4 in the first session after West Indies had stretched its first innings beyond the 300-run mark. Smith shuffled across his crease too far and was given out lbw on review to the last ball of Roach’s first over. Marnus Labuschagne (3) was then caught in the next over.

Smith replaced the retired David Warner as an opener for Australia but scored just 12 runs in his first innings in that role in the first test at Adelaide which Australia won by 10 wickets.

The last two balls before the break by Roach brought more celebration for West Indies.

Cameron Green (8) drove straight to Brathwaite at cover. Travis Head was well caught down the legside next ball by Joshua Da Silva to leave Roach on a hat trick.

Earlier, a half-century on debut by offspinning allrounder Sinclair lifted West Indies to a competitive first-innings total. Sinclair (50) and veteran paceman Roach (eight) added 31 for the ninth wicket after the visitors resumed at 266-8.

Brief scores

Second day/night Test, Brisbane (day two):

West Indies 311 (Da Silva 79, Hodge 71, Sinclair 50; Starc 4-92) & 13-1

Australia 289-9d (Khawaja 75, Carey 65, Cummins 64; A Joseph 4-84, Roach 3-47

West Indies lead by 35 runs

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