ROSEAU, Dominica – Brittle batting returned to haunt West Indies on Tuesday as they suffered a now familiar collapse to leave Australia in control of the third and final Test at Windsor Park.
Chasing Australia’s first innings of 328, West Indies ended the second day tottering on 165 for eight, still 163 runs adrift of their target.
They were battling on 62 for one at one stage after lunch, but lost seven wickets for 58 runs as off-spinner Nathan Lyon undermined the innings with three for 49.
The damage could have been greater but the ever-dependable Shiv Chanderpaul joined Ravi Rampaul in a 45-run ninth wicket stand to prop up the innings late in the day.
Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 34 from 110 balls with two fours while Rampaul has scored a breezy 24 from 33 balls with four fours.
Earlier Matthew Wade’s maiden first class century robbed West Indies of any early advantage as the left-hander played superbly to convert his overnight 22 into 106.
He outshone off-spinner Shane Shillingford who picked up two of the three wickets to fall in the morning session to finish with six for 119, to log his first-ever five-wicket haul in Tests.
Wade, however, played outstandingly and once he reached his half-century, accelerated to post his second fifty off just 33 balls.
Overall, he faced 146 balls and hammered 10 fours and three sixes.
He led a strong lower order revival, ensuring Australia added 159 runs for the last three wickets and further frustrate West Indies.
Wade extended his overnight eighth-wicket stand with Mitchell Starc (35) to 57 before snuffing the life out of the regional side with a exhilarating 102-run, ninth wicket partnership with Ben Hilfenhaus (19).
Resuming the day on 212 for seven, Wade and Starc carried on from where they had left off the previous evening, appearing untroubled by the West Indies attack.
It took a bit of sharp fielding to break the partnership as Kraigg Brathwaite combined with wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh to send Starc on his way in the day’s fifth over, via the run out route.
Wade drove straight and Brathwaite pulled off a great sliding save to prevent the boundary, before sending the return to the keeper’s end where Starc was caught just short of his crease, as he ambled in lazily.
Wade then took matters into his hands, smacking part-time off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine over long-on for six before twice lifting Shillingford over mid-wicket for successive sixes.
He reached three figures with a glorious cover drive for four off fast bowler Kemar Roach but holed out in the deep off Shillingford soon afterward, as Darren Bravo held a brilliant catch.
The fielder took the catch inside the ropes but with his momentum carrying him over the boundary, parried the ball up and completed the catch jumping back inside the field of play.
Hilfenhaus’s resistance ended quickly when he was bowled by Shillingford just minutes before the scheduled lunch interval.
West Indies got yet another shaky start when teenaged opener Brathwaite fell in just the third over without scoring, nibbling at a wide delivery from seamer Hilfenhaus and giving Ryan Harris a straightforward catch at first slip with just a run on the board.
However, Barath and Powell steadied the innings in a 61-run stand, mixing caution with aggression against the varied Aussie attack.
Fifteen minutes before tea, Barath was taken at short leg by Ed Cowan off one from Lyon that bounced and in the next over from part-time leg-spinner David Warner, Darren Bravo collected a pair of boundaries before giving Cowan the easiest of catches, off an inside edge off his pad.
Powell, dropped on 30 by Ricky Ponting at short cover off Lyon, survived until the fourth over after tea when he dragged on a cut at Lyon, as the Windies slipped to 85 for four.
He faced 95 balls hit two fours.
With 11 runs added, Narsingh Deonarine was lbw to seamer Harris after the Aussies challenged the original not out verdict and Baugh also fell to Lyon, off at bat-pad catch.
Captain Darren Sammy was run out for 10 by a direct hit at 120 for seven as he attempted a quick single while Shillingford was bowled first ball by left-armer Starc, leaving the Windies in tatters. (CMC)