The pendulum finally swung in Australia’s favour after almost three days and a session of domination from the West Indies in the Barbados Test match.
The fifth day’s play begins at 11.30 pm AEST on Wednesday.
In reply to West Indies’ first innings score of 449, Australia looked like they would concede a healthy lead when they lost both Michael Hussey, and Peter Siddle, for the addition of just two runs in the day.
And when Wade was sucked into playing the ball away from his body and to the slips, Australia were 8/285, 164 behind the West Indies.
That they would go on to declare at 9/406 was the turning point of the game.
First it was a 44-run partnership between Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus for the ninth wicket that brought respectability to the Australian score.
Stung by the runs and tiring a little by this time under the hot Barbados sun, the bowlers began to bowl even more waywardly and the last wicket stand between Harris and Nathan Lyon took full toll.
Harris ended unbeaten on 68, Nathan Lyon scored 40 and the last wicket added 77 runs to the total – in the process, batting and exhausting the West Indian fielders for 26 additional overs.
By the time the home team batted again – ahead only by 43 – the Windies looked shell-shocked. Sensing an opportunity to go for the kill, Ben Hilfenhaus ran through the top-order with Adrian Barath, Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards scoring 2, 0 and 1 respectively.
First innings centurion Shivnarine Chanderpaul also failed and despite Darren Bravo’s 32 and a gritty unbeaten 20 from Narsingh Deonarine, West Indies hobbled to 5/71 at close.
This means they are ahead only by 114 runs and unless they can conjure up another 100 runs or so from somewhere, this match looks headed in only one direction – the visitors’. Australia are in pole position and anything less than a win from here will be a big surprise!
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 last day’s action unfolds from 11.30 pm AEST.