Katich, Ponting give Australia solid start

Published: Friday, May 30, 2008, 22:09 [IST]
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St John's: Australia emerged from a painstakingly slow start to reach 70 for one in their first innings before lunch in the second Test against West Indies on Friday.

At the interval, Simon Katich on 24 and Ricky Ponting on 28 were the not out batsmen, after Australia chose to bat on a hard, true Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch.

Katich and fellow opener Phil Jaques gave Australia a solid start, when they batted circumspectly through the first hour-and-a-half, after a brief rain shower just delayed the start by 15 minutes.

Australia may have been breathing a sigh of relief, and West Indies may have been grieving, when Fidel Edwards slid on the fresh pitch when he was about to deliver his first ball of the Test.

Fortunately for West Indies, it was a false alarm, and Edwards recovered to continue his opening spell, but he bowled raggedly in his five overs that cost 22 runs.

Australia were coasting along, when Dwayne Bravo made the breakthrough, when Phil Jaques was adjudged lbw to the bowler's third ball for 17, when he played back and across to a full-length delivery to leave Australia 37 for one.

Ponting came to the wicket and immediately played in his typically forthright manner, and runs started to flow for Australia.

The Aussies made one change to their line-up, when Michael Clarke replaced Brad Hodge, and West Indies made two switches, Xavier Marshall and Jerome Taylor replacing Brenton Parchment and Amit Jaggernauth.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle was ruled out of the Test just prior to the start because he has still not fully recovered from his groin injury.

Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0, after they completed a 95-run victory in the opening Test last Monday at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

Australia have now won 13 of the last 14 Tests they have contested against West Indies and will seek to stamp their authority.

They hold the Frank Worrell Trophy - symbol of Test supremacy against West Indies - and they have not lost a Test series in the Caribbean since 1991.

The third and final Test between the two sides starts on June 12 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Scorecard (at lunch, D-1):

Australia Ist innings 70/1 (Ponting 28 n o, Katich 24 n o; Bravo 1/23) Vs West Indies.


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