Australia v West Indies – MCG Test, Day 4: Windies fight it out

Not surprisingly Australia declared overnight with the score at 3/179 leaving the West Indies to score 460 in two days.

Chandrika and Brathwaite, whilst not having big partnerships, are getting more confident every time they come to the wicket.  They look very composed as they face accurate bowling from Hazlewood and Pattinson.

Josh Hazlewood has been wicketless in this Test and looks like he needs a break from the game.  He has been accurate but not likely to take a pole. I’d be giving the best fast bowler outside the Test arena a go in the last in Sydney but perhaps Steve O’Keefe will get his chance to prove his worth and Mitch Marsh being given a more senior role as the first change.

Kraigg Brathwaite is looking like a batsmen and he is not afraid to play shots against the short ball.  He even dances down the wicket to Lyon and hits him high over mid-off for four. Like the first innings he is out next ball as he fiddles at Lyon and is well taken by Smith in the slips.

Brathwaite 31 and the West Indies 1/35.  He should have gone further but is still learning the game and his time will come.

Lyon, now the most competent of spinners, is puzzling Chandrika and has him sweeping and missing on a number of occasions.

It is slow going but the Windies batsmen are determined today following their heartening effort of yesterday.  The small crowd is seeing a challenging contest.

While there is life there is hope Mr Flynn.

If there ever was a cool cat it is Darren Bravo.  The second cousin of Brian Lara they both come from the same little town of Santa Cruz.   Bravo gets in behind the ball and sniffs it out and with his eyes staring at the insignia on the ball with great intent. Very impressive indeed.

Mitch Marsh throws himself in to his spell and is bowling much faster than he has in the past.

A bit of controversy as Australia are timed out on a review! An lbw appeal on Bravo off Pattinson took too much time according to the umpires. The things that happen in cricket.

With one wicket down at lunch the Windies were fighting well and the wicket was giving nothing to the bowlers.

Hazlewood get a wicket – but NO!  You guessed it.  The third time in the game that Australia has taken a wicket only to find it was NO BALL.

One would have thought that with all the coaching and analysing that goes on nowadays that no-balls would have been a lost art.

West Indies continue with their defensive play and with grit and determination they are banking on holding out the Aussies.

The plan has been thwarted as their rock Bravo (21) nicks a moving ball from Siddle for Nevill to take a comfortable catch 2/83.

Chandrika (37) after a long stay gets a good one from Pattinson and goes lbw. Naturally enough the result goes to a replay and for Pattinson everything had fallen his way including his foot.  3/91.  Chandrika had batted for 130 minutes and whilst the runs did not flow from his bat the time he was at the crease will prove invaluable for him as a player over time.

Marsh who has bowled well today gets one to nip past the bat of Marlin Samuels (19) and Nevill makes no mistake.  West Indies now 4/118 and Marsh finished the over by beating Ramdin three times in a row.

It looks like it is only a matter of time now.

Smith is keen to finish the match quickly and bowling stints from all players have not been long.

At tea West Indies 4/146 Ramdin 19  Blackwood 16.

Shortly after tea any chance of West Indies holding out for the day vanished when Blackwood (20) fell to the Australians most dangerous bowler Nathan Lyon 5/150

I was wrong. Skipper Jason Holder and keeper Dinesh Ramdin were splendid in defiance and they scored exactly 100 runs before the wicket of Ramdin (59) fell.  6/250.

One must admire the discipline of the skipper and the former skipper who defied the Australians and played some fine shots in their partnership.

Hero of the first innings Carlos Brathwaite (2) did not stay long and was Lyon’s third wicket. Lyon’s reputation just gets bigger and bigger and justly deserved.  7/253

When Holder went shortly after for 68 in a wonderful captain’s knock the game was certain to end today and so it was to be Roach (11) Taylor (0) going shortly after.  WI all out 282 and Australia hold the Frank Worrell Trophy by 178 runs.

Mitch Marsh bowled very well indeed and if he ever gets to bat for a long stint will have the sixth batting spot to himself.  He took 4/61 while man-of-the match Nathan Lyon took 3/85.

So what did we learn from this game:-

  1. The Australian batting line up is settled for the upcoming New Zealand tour
  2. Mitch Marsh has consolidated his position as team all-rounder
  3. Nathan Lyon’s status in world cricket goes up another notch
  4. The young West Indies team played admirably after day 1
  5. Jason Holder is a capable leader who just needs a little support from senior players
  6. Darren Bravo is a class act
  7. Australian fast bowlers must learn not to bowl no balls. It could cost a game one day if it continues. Ditto umpires who have time to call them from the bowler’s end.
  8. Melbourne is still the sports capital of the Southern Hemisphere.
  9. Steve Smith leads by example
  10. That when you have a group of journalists, MCC committee and a Carlton legend at the one table at lunch they will talk football 80% of the time and 20% cricket.

Now to Sydney and I think Hazlewood will be given a rest (no wickets this Test) and that Steve O’Keefe will take his place.  With their confidence on the rise I expect the Windies to put on an even better display.

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Comments

  1. John Butler says

    Admirable stamina Bob. I suspect the various lunches were more demanding than most of the cricket.

    Bravo is a very good cricketer who would be better served playing in an environment with higher expectations.

    Lyon has looked a class above anything the opposition could offer in the spin department this summer. I’m still considering if this says more about Lyon or the opposition.

    The insistence on back to back tests is slowly killing fast bowling in test cricket. Most of the wickets aren’t helping in that regard.

    Holder is an admirable young cricketer. That he has to be lumbered with the captaincy says it all for the current state of affairs in Windies cricket.

    Steve Smith has yet to be really tested as a skipper.

    Enjoy Sydney. :)

  2. The Windies still didn’t break the 300 mark on a benign pitch.

    Australia is still bowling wicket-taking no balls.

    And check Lyon’s record JB, he may not be Shane Warne, but he’s got the wickets in the book.

    Captain Cautious is growing every match, as is this Baggy Green combination. After all, you can only beat who they line you up to play.

  3. Thanks for your daily coverage, Bob. Agree with most of your list of 10, particularly 3 & 5. Interesting that you came to 8 while having a stand to yourself on Day 4. Melbourne could only muster 3000 more people than Adelaide despite having an extra day, public holidays, weekends, school holidays, fixed dates and a population of 4 million in its favour. More evidence CA need to consider ticket prices. Reckon you could have any full day of a test against any opposition at any time in Adelaide and at least 7000 SACA members would show up.

  4. El Wrappo, not disparaging Lyon, just lamenting the quality of the opposition.

    you can only beat who they line you up to play” should be something concentrating the minds of the Big Three more than it appears to be.

  5. When Brathwaite was ‘pinging’ them down on Day 2, myself and many others thought we could go out there and make 20-30.

    Lamentable.

    J Holder is a ‘handy’ cricketer in Richie vernacular.

    Rank these offies in order of quality:

    Lyon, May and Yardley

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Excellent coverage again Citrus.
    If two spinners is the choice is O’Keefe our man? Would rather they try a leggie. Fawad Ahmed has the Shield results over the last 12 months. If not him try Zampa. We haven’t had a decent left arm orthodox since Ironmonger.

  7. It’s a bit like the Brownlow votes, put in a blinder in the last quarter and you’re assured of at least the two votes. But it has to be the Nathan, with Bruce Yardley second if for no other reason than his gully catching.

    And The Big Three are JB?

Leave a Comment

*