Pacers give Windies slight edge

West Indies' Alzarri Joseph during the third Test against England.
West Indies’ Alzarri Joseph during the third Test against England.
Associated Press / Ricardo Mazalan, file

West Indies continued to put up a brave fight against world Test champions Australia with Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach sharing seven wickets and earning them a narrow first innings lead in the second Test at the Gabba.

Joseph was the most successful bowler taking four for 84 from 14 overs, and Roach supported with three for 47 from 11 overs before the Australians declared on 289 for nine just before the scheduled close on the second day to concede a first innings lead of 22.

West Indies, were bowled out for 311 in their first innings after Kevin Sinclair hit 50 and were 13 for one with an overall lead of 35.

The visitors lost left-handed opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul when he was caught behind off the third ball of the final over of the day off pacer Josh Hazlewood, leaving his captain Kraigg Brathwaite not out on three.

West Indies trail 1-0 in the two-Test series after they were beaten by ten wickets inside three days in the first Test in Adelaide.

Roach said the Caribbean side was hoping to build on their good work on the third day on Saturday and walk away from the series with the first Test win against this opponent in almost three decades.

“We knew that the wicket gets better after the new ball disappears, so we knew it would be hard work and Australia bat deep,” Roach told reporters after play.

“We haven’t won [in Australia] in a long time. We don’t really come here too often, but guys really want to come here and leave a mark.

“To win a Test match in Australia as a young side with a lot of debutants and guys who have played less than ten Tests, that would set a really good mark for us.”

Roach made the breakthrough for West Indies with the last ball of the first over when he got makeshift opener Steve Smith lbw for six, in the host’s reply.

Joseph followed in the next over when he got Marnus Labuschagne caught in the slips for three, and Australia was 11 for two.

The wickets of Cameron Green caught at mid-off for eight and Travis Head caught behind for a first-ball duck off successive deliveries from Roach reduced the home team to 24 for four. Joseph got Mitchell Marsh caught at mid-on for 21 and had the Aussies wobbling on 54 for five.

The Caribbean side had some resistance from the second half of the Australian batting when left-handed opener and World Test Player-of-theYear Usman Khawaja top scored with 75.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey put on 96 with Khawaja before pacer Shamar Joseph had him caught at deep square leg for 65. Three overs later, Alzarri Joseph got Mitchell Starc caught behind for two. Australia was on 161 for seven at the break.

Continuing after the break, West Indies met further resistance when Khawaja and Australia captain Pat Cummins put on 81 for the eighth wicket.

Sinclair got Khawaja caught at slip, but Cummins remained to hit a career-best 64 not out in a stand of 47 with Nathan Lyon, whose dismissal caught behind of Alzarri Joseph to bring about the Australian declaration.