West Indies move towards stability – first Test vs. Australia

West Indies 179-3 (Kirk Edwards 61, Kraigg Brathwaite 57, David Warner 1-23)

Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite - 104 runs for the second wicket
Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite – 104 runs for the second wicket

West Indies have started their journey towards  solidity with a promising batting display by their top order batsmen in the first Test vs. Australia.

The Caribbeans scored 179 with seven wickets still in hand on a rain affected first day and were marching towards a healthy first innings total.

The first match of the three Test series commenced from April 7, 2012 at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Earlier, Darren Sammy, the Captain of West Indies won the toss and instantly decided to bat on a good looking batting strip which was without any green top. The Windies left out Ravi Rampaul as the Aussies decided to put James Pattinson on the side lines and both sides decided to go in the match with spinners instead. Matthew Wade made his Test debut and was awarded the green baggy Australian cap by their most senior player and ex-Captain, Ricky Ponting.

The home side initiated the innings with Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite as Australia opened the attack by Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus from the other end. The openers were cautious in the early overs and managed 24 runs in the first 10 overs with just one four from each of them. Brathwaite got a life when he was dropped on the second ball of the 13th over by Peter Siddle on his own bowling. They accumulated 38 runs for the first wicket when Barath was caught at backward square by Siddle of Harris for 22 off 54 balls with two fours.

Kirk Edwards came in next and the progress towards prosperity was initiated with Brathwite who was doing well at the other end as first fifty of the innings was posted on board in the 22nd over. The runs were hard to come as the Aussies bowlers dominated once again and the batsmen could score just 14 runs from over no.21 to 28 when lunch was taken and score was enhanced to 57 without losing any further wicket.

The proceedings remained dull even after the lunch interval and 21 runs were added in the next 10 overs by the two batsmen. Kirk Edwards opened his arms in the 39th over off Shane Watson when he dispatched two back to back fours and the sleeping spectators woke up a little bit. The boundaries started pouring in after that as the Caribbeans reached their first hundred of the innings in the 43rd over. Edwards dispatched the first six of the day on the fourth ball of the 47th over to Nathan Lyon and achieved his fifty on the fourth ball of the 51st over. Brathwaite followed him and scored his half century in the 53rd over as Edwards once again was lucky to be dropped at 56 by Shane Watson off Peter Siddle on the third ball of the 54th over.

Edwards finally lost his wicket at 61 when he was caught and bowled by the part time bowler David Warner on the third ball of the 55th over. The second wicket partnership contributed a valuable 104 runs as Darren Bravo reached in the centre and demonstrated his class by punishing Warner for one six and a four in the 59th over. The wicketkeeper, Matthew Wade celebrated his first wicket in the longer version of the game when Kraigg Brathwaite was caught by him on the bowling of Peter Siddle for 57 runs.

The most experienced batsman of the Windies, Shivnarine Chanderpaul came in the centre, took guards and consolidated the innings with Bravo when rain stopped further play.  The score reached at 179 runs for the loss of three wickets, Darren Bravo was at the crease with 20 off 60 balls with one six and even four as Chanderpaul was securing the other end for 8 runs.

West Indies will look towards their promising duo at the crease to deliver their best on the second day which can enable them to post a commanding first innings score whereas Australia will be anticipating early wickets in the first hour.


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