Australia’s 174 no loss against Windies’ 451 on 2nd day
ADELAIDE: The Australian openers have responded brilliantly to an imposing West Indian first innings total of 451 with both Shane Watson and Simon Katich closing in on centuries at the end of day two of the second cricket Test at Adelaide.
The Adelaide pitch has thus far played true to its nature and has supported batting, as seen from the West Indian total and the start provided by the Aussie openers.
Peter Siddle kick-started the day brilliantly for Australia, catching Darren Sammy plumb with a full delivery.
Brendan Nash, batting overnight on 44, then added 44 with Suleiman Benn before the latter fell for 17 to Nathan Hauritz.
Next man in Kemar Roach did not last long, nicking one to the keeper in the very next over off Mitchell Johnson.
This brought in the last man, Ravi Rampaul, who hung around for almost 20 overs and thoroughly frustrated the Aussies, adding a vital 68 runs with Nash, a record for the tenth wicket against Australia.
In fact he remained unbeaten till the very end, scoring 40 with six fours and two sixes to his credit. The partnership ensured that the score crossed the psychological barrier of 400 and, in fact, went a couple of steps further and raised the 450.
Nash was unlucky to miss out on his second international hundred, bowled by an incoming delivery from former housemate Johnson. He scored 92, an innings of great composure and solidarity.
Watson and Katich then fought back brilliantly, shaving the deficit by 174 and managing to survive 48 overs, thus posting half-centuries in the process.
Kemar Roach bowled at great speeds in his first spell, occasionally in excess of 150 kph, but the batsmen were unshakeable. Both Watson and Katich looked extremely comfortable against all the Caribbean bowlers, with Watson expectedly playing the aggressor and Katich the sheet anchor.
Watson brought up his fifty off just 61 deliveries with a boundary behind point off Bravo. Katich posted his own fifty 14 overs later.
Post tea, there was a bit of drama with a war of words between Watson and Suleiman Benn, who got good turn and bounce thanks to his height. He even had a half-chance dropped, when a genuine edge from Watson bounced off Denesh Ramdin''s gloves.
Watson, then on 91, was stranded at the end of the day''s play an agonizing 4 runs short of a magnificent hundred, and knocking off the landmark and then starting all over again would be his top prioirity when he comes out to bat tomorrow. Katich meanwhile finished unbeaten on 71.
Australia must make this brilliant platform given by the openers count as they still are 277 runs adrift of the West Indies total. However, since the pitch is still a batsmen''s paradise, they would fancy their chances of scoring in excess of 350 tomorrow.