18 April 2012
The way this match is heading due to the rain delays seems to be a draw. If this is to be the dull result then this series will be following the same pattern as the 2008 Frank Worrell Trophy where the results were victory, draw, victory for the Baggy Greens. Obviously we need to play a dominant game of cricket in all facets of our game in order to achieve a victory in Dominica. The Windies have continued to break through our defenses and challenge us.
That's something to chat about down the line as right now we have a game on our hands which is still alive although there has been a serious loss of time due to then rainfall. A result would have been certain had it not been for the delays. Now it is a case of hoping for a result as thunder showers have been predicted.
Full scorecard via ESPN Cricinfo.com
- Australian 1st innings: 311 all out from 135 overs. Michael Hussey 73 (207), Shane Watson 56 (172), Michael Clarke 45 (99).
- West Indies 1st innings: 257 all out from 104.4 overs. Nathan Lyon 5-68, Michael Beer 2-56, Ben Hilfenhaus 1-39, Michael Hussey 1-19, James Pattinson 1-40.
- Australian 2nd innings: 3-73. Ricky Ponting 32*.
The morning started off ideally for the Baggy Greens, claiming the last wicket of the West Indies in the first over of the morning. Michael Beer removed Carlton Baugh LBW as he attempted the sweep shot, a stroke that has led to his downfall many times in his career. It was the 6th LBW dismissal of the Windies innings and the 9th of the match.
The boys have managed 73 runs but all of our top order have been removed so David Warner, Ed Cowan and Shane Watson will play no further part in the 2nd Test. It must be stated that Kemar Roach is having a brilliant match with the ball. He really ripped apart our top order in no time with some assistance from the pitch when he bowled Watto. His approach to bowl around the wicket gave him the angle required to trouble the lefties.
Ed Cowan was one of the lefties and he has been struggling a bit this series but a bit more time may see him come right. His confidence just looks really low. He was dropped by Darren Sammy in the slips on 0 and then a run out chance was missed. There has certainly have had luck on offer after Lyon's 5fer.
The middle order will be the men responsible to build-up the lead. We currently have the lead at 127 runs with 7 wickets in hand but it is certainly not the desired situation, rain concerns aside. It is a lead though and it is our advantage.
Ricky Ponting had a shaky start to his innings - one of many over the years - but he started to get nicely settled and found some flow to his innings as he adapted to the track and Windies tactics. He also found some well needed batting time as he challenges himself to try contribute to the side in a game where we need it from him. I was quite upset that the rain came down as I was feeling good about Punter's chances to wear down the Windies. He is unbeaten 32 runs with Michael Clarke on 3.
The possible plan of action:
The way forward from here if we get play on day 5 will be the mind games of strategic time management...not to be confused with IPL Maxmobile Strategic Time Out. Michael Clarke will have to consider quite a few things.
Firstly, himself and Punter will need to push that lead forward in good time but also not fall into the trap of seeing our boys getting bowled out in a situation which would give the Windies that self-belief you simply cannot give them. We do have enough men to follow on.
Then he needs to consider what target would give us leverage and, assuming a declaration is called for, how many overs he will want up his sleeve to give our bowlers any possibility of creating early opportunities to get some quick wickets and cause some panic in the Windies camp. Bad light was always going to be of concern this series so that will also come into his considerations.
A really good session would be a run-rate of about 4.0 to 4.5 runs per over but it's easier said that done on this track, as we've seen. 30 overs of play would bring in an extra 120 runs at 4.0 r.p.o. This would put the lead at 247. We have had a day this Test with the complete 90 mandatory overs being bowled so assuming it were to be a clear day this would leave Clarke with 60 overs to make a game of it. He seems that sort of a tactician but maybe 50 overs would be the safe bet as we can attack with the patient approach but have that ODI mind set to be hungry for wickets. The Windies would need to decide whether to cruise full steam ahead for the target or drop anchor instead.
It's all well and good writing about possibilities because at the end of it all we have no say and we cannot predict a thing, not even the rain as it's so on and off! This is also looking at a more optimistic outcome but this game is certainly heading towards a drawn result.
However, as we saw in the 1st Test, this great game has so many twists and turns. One hour away from your broadcast can see a massive change in the game situation. We saw that on day 3 with Nathan Lyon's performance.
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Labels: Frank-Worrell Trophy