Boland powers Australia towards 2-0 on 16-wicket day
The visitors lost 10 wickets on day three across two innings, with Australia piling up 199 for 6 declared in 31 overs in between
West Indies 38 for 4 (Thomas 8*, Holder 8*, Boland 3-9) and 214 (Chanderpaul 47, Phillip 43, Lyon 3-57) need 459 runs to beat Australia 199 for 6 dec (Khawaja 45, Joseph 3-33) and 511 for 7 dec
A stunning three-wicket maiden from Scott Boland has put Australia on track for a 2-0 series sweep following a day where the game accelerated dramatically at the Adelaide Oval. Boland’s bedazzling spell reduced West Indies to 38 for 4 at stumps on day three chasing an improbable fourth innings target of 497.
The visitors lost 10 wickets on day three across two innings, with Australia piling up 199 for 6 declared in 31 overs in between after the hosts opted against enforcing the follow-on as they did in Perth. Instead, they declared at sunset and asked West Indies to face 22 overs under lights with Boland ripping through their top order taking three wickets in his first over to leave the visitors reeling at 15 for 3.
Having gone wicketless in the first innings to see his Test bowling average reach double-figures, Boland dropped it back under 10 as he nicked off Kraigg Brathwaite, pinned Shamarh Brooks lbw, and had Jermaine Blackwood caught superbly at gully by Cameron Green in six perfect deliveries.
Three wickets soon became four when Tagenarine Chanderpaul attempted to glance Mitchell Starc down the leg side. Australia’s half-hearted appeal was turned down but their review showed a tiny spot on his bat and the decision was overturned.
Devon Thomas and Jason Holder dug in valiantly for 13.3 overs to prevent further losses but pushing the game beyond a fourth day looks improbable.
Earlier, West Indies lost six wickets in the morning session for 112 to be bowled out for just 214 in their first innings, having started the day at 102 for 4, to concede a first-innings deficit of 297. The morning was highlighted by two calamitous run-outs of West Indies’ two top scorers in the innings with Chanderpaul and nightwatchman Anderson Phillip falling to needless mix-ups.
Nathan Lyon also extracted sharp spin to pick up two wickets and finish with three in the innings as West Indies were bowled out on the stroke of dinner. Starc bagged two in an extended session that lasted longer than it should have after Australia missed three catches behind the wicket.
West Indies’ day started with Chanderpaul run-out in the opening over without adding to his overnight score of 47. He defended a ball close into the off side and wanted a quick single but Phillip did not respond leaving Chanderpaul scrambling to return to safety. Starc, having delivered from around the wicket, raced across to his right and opened his body superbly to fire with his left hand and hit the middle of middle from close range with Chanderpaul’s full-length dive not enough to save him.
Holder was out two overs later edging a full ball from Starc that tailed away and Alex Carey took an excellent catch low to his right.
Phillip and Joshua Da Silva then mounted a positive rearguard putting together a brisk 60-run stand in 13 overs. The strokeplay was aggressive despite the running between the wickets remaining questionable. Playing in just his second Test match, Phillip had only reached double-figures in ten of his previous 30 first-class innings with a highest score of 36 not out.
He struck five boundaries and a six to post his highest first-class score while Da Silva looked secure and rotated the strike well and was only threatened by Phillip’s lackadaisical running. Da Silva could have been run out at the striker’s end after Phillip made a very late call to take a single to mid-off but the throw from Michael Neser was wide of the stumps.
Phillip nearly ran himself out having lazily grounded his bat short of his ground when Marnus Labuschagne missed an attempt to break the stumps after gathering a wide throw. It would have been no surprise given he was penalised for running one short earlier in the partnership.
Da Silva was trapped lbw by Lyon playing deep in his crease to a ball that spun back sharply. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena initially shook his head but Australia’s review overturned the call as it was hitting the top of middle. Lyon would later snare Alzarri Joseph with an identical dismissal.
Phillip finally ran himself out when Roston Chase ignored a needless call for a single after a misfield at cover. The ball ricocheted to Labuschagne at mid-off. Phillip came halfway down before turning back after Chase called no. Labuschagne’s throw at the striker’s end missed but Carey had time to collect and underarm onto the stumps as he was still running up from his keeping position.
Chase and Marquino Mindley frustrated the Australians with a last-wicket stand of 43. Mindley fought admirably given he was batting with a hamstring injury flicking Starc for six over backward square. Carey, David Warner and Labuschagne all missed chances behind the wicket off sharp edges with Cameron Green denied twice.
Australia’s batters enjoyed a centre-wicket in the second session twilight with Usman Khawaja in particular cashing in on a tiring West Indies attack top-scoring with 45. Warner looked less fluent but the pair added 77 before both fell Chase in the same over.
Labuschagne and Steven Smith feasted on the spin of Chase and Brathwaite thereafter with a relentless array of sweeps and reverse sweeps before tea. Labuschagne become just the second Australian batter to pass 500 runs in a two-Test series but fell in the last over before the break for 31. Travis Head came out after tea and clubbed 38 not out off 27 balls to set up a declaration. Green and Carey were the only ones failing to make 28 or more, both falling unselfishly in pursuit of quick runs with Green’s lack of time in the middle this summer remaining a concern.
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