A crucial third day’s play in the Barbados Test match between West Indies and Australia could allow one or the other team to take control of the game and it begins at midnight AEST on Monday.
A 25th Test match century from Shivanrine Chanderpaul and some vital lower-order partnerships with the likes of Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach helped West Indies compile 449 in their first innings. They further threw the challenge by declaring their innings closed, with a wicket standing.
It was another day of grind and Chanderpaul excelled in that situation as he normally does. After having begun positively at the start of the day, he went into his defensive mode but he was allowed to do that as the batsmen around him managed to spank some away.
Narsingh Deonarine scored 21 from 30, Carlton Baugh made 22 off 39 and then Darren Sammy threw caution to the wind with a 36-ball 41 that took the wind off the Australian bowling.
Australia tried eight bowlers, including Dave Warner and Michael Hussey, with the former even getting two wickets with long-hops disguised as leg-spinners.
Ryan Harris got another two while Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle ran up all day with some steam but without too much reward.
Australia did well to manage 44 runs in their near-10 overs without any wickets down, but their captain has already admitted that an hour of bad cricket can put the team behind.
Australia’s ambition will be to get as close to West Indies as possible in the next four sessions, which is possible if the visitors can bat positively the whole of third day on what is arguably a relatively easier pitch to bat on.
And from there on, we could have an exciting finish to the Test match if the rain stays away. Australia have the batting to do that, it will be the matter of concentrating in hot and humid conditions.
We will bring you the coverage throughout this first Test match of the series between West Indies and Australia from Barbados and hope to receive your opinions as the action unfolds from 12 midnight AEST.