Weather intervenes after Roach's burstWritten by WICB
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Only 30.4 overs were possible, as rain disrupted West Indies’ bid to fight their way back into contention following a penetrative spell from Kemar Roach in the second Digicel Test against Australia on Wednesday.
Roach collected three wickets for 27 runs from 10 overs, as the Australians reached 73 for three in their second innings – an overall lead of 127 – when rain stopped play about an hour and five minutes before tea on the fourth day at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Play never resumed and umpires Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Ian Gould of England abandoned any possibility of a restart about an hour before the scheduled close.
In an opening burst before lunch, Roach put Australia on the back-foot, when he snared the scalps of opener David Warner and all-rounder Shane Watson, as Australia reached 40 for two, when the weather brought the interval 45 minutes earlier than scheduled.
He added the scalp of Ed Cowan after the interval, but
West Indies were unable to make further headway, as rain stopped play with Ricky Ponting not out on 32 and Australia captain Michael Clarke not out on three.
This came after Australia needed just four balls to dismiss West Indies for 257, replying to the visitors’ first innings total of 311.
Roach’s intervention came in the nick of time, after West Indies captain Darren Sammy dropped Cowan on zero at slip, after the left-handed opener fended away a short, rapidly rising delivery from Fidel Edwards in the fifth over of the innings.
Roach, whose five wickets made him the most successful West Indies bowler in Australia’s first innings, got the breakthrough in his very first over, when he had Warner caught at first slip for 17, playing defensively forward to a delivery moving away from him.
Three deliveries later, Roach bowled Shane Watson for a duck with a perfectly-pitched delivery which moved back, slipped between the bat and pad, and sent the off-stump cart-wheeling in spectacular fashion, leaving Australia 26 for two.
Next over, Shillingford created another chance, when Ricky Ponting, on three, was dropped at forward short leg by Adrian Barath playing defensively forward.
This was the last piece of drama before rain stopped play for the first time, and West Indies did not have to wait too long for success, when play resumed 10 minutes later than the scheduled lunchtime.
Roach trapped Cowan lbw for 20 playing across a full-length delivery in the sixth over after the interval, leaving the Aussies 57 for three.
West Indies were still hunting wickets, while Ponting and Clarke were looking to dig in, when rain stopped play for a second time.
Earlier, West Indies innings came to a close, when Carlton Baugh Jr was adjudged lbw to left-arm spinner Michael Beer for 21, when he swept at a well-directed delivery.
West Indies trail 0-1 in the three-match series, following a three-wicket defeat in the first Digicel Test, which ended last Wednesday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
The third and final Digicel Test starts next Monday at Windsor Park in Dominica.
West Indies are seeking their first Test win over the Aussies in nine years, and first series victory in close to two decades.