Steven Smith harrowingly missed a double hundred on day two of the Jamaica Test at Kingston, but his 199 was enough to take Australia closer to the 400 mark. The Australian bowlers then shredded the West Indies batting into pieces as the hosts crumbled to 143 for 8 by the end of day’s play, trailing the Aussies by a mammoth distance of 256 runs. Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon claimed three wickets each for the visitors as Australia finished another day of domination in spite of Jerome Taylor finishing with six wickets for West Indies.
The standout moment of the day was manner in which Smith was dismissed for 199. The batsman, who is usually very nimble on his feat, was trapped in front by a late in-swinging yorker. The ball missed his bat, and crashed straight into his foot. Taylor went in for a huge appeal, and the finger went up even as Smith was hoping against hope. Considering the circumstances, the batsman went in for a review, but the third umpire upheld the decision. Smith thus became the third Australian to be dismissed on 199, after Steve Waugh and Matthew Elliot.
In a unique symmetry, Australia’s innings finished one short of 400. Lyon, Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc combined to have the Windies in all sorts of trouble. Rajindra Chandrika had a terrible debut. He was out for a duck, flirting at a wide one from Starc to be caught behind. There was doubt over a no-ball, but the decision went in Australia’s favour. Lyon was introduced very early in the attack, and immediately struck big blows. Kraigg Braithwaite was bowled playing inside the line of a ball while Darren Bravo was trapped in front with a straighter one.
West Indies went to tea at 35 for 3, and things continued to get worse for them. Shane Dowrich edged Hazlewood behind the wickets playing at a wide one. Shai Hope got to 26 before playing inside the line of a Lyon delivery, and Brad Haddin used his thighs to hold the catch. Denesh Ramdin had another failure when he was trapped in front from a full and quick ball from Hazlewood. Jermaine Blackwood slashed and edged his way past 50, but fell soon after giving a catch to mid-on. Mitchell Johnson sent back Veerasammy Permaul on the last ball of the day.
Earlier, Taylor once again bowled with fire to give the West Indians a good start on day two as well. In his second over, he sent back Shane Watson as the batsman shouldered arms, and found his off-stump disturbed. Brad Haddin raced his way to 22 before he was bowled through the gate by Taylor. Kemar Roach and Jason Holder then sent back Johnson and Starc cheaply, but Smith again found an able ally in Hazlewood as the duo took the Aussies closer to the 400 mark. Aussies were helped by the fact that there was no support for Taylor on day two as well.
-- By A Cricket Correspondent