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Jaques, Katich put Aussies in box seat

Published: Sunday, June 15, 2008, 1:43 [IST]
 
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Bridgetown: Phil Jaques and Simon Katich completed hundreds and shared a double-hundred opening stand to stamp Australia's authority on the third and final Test against West Indies on Saturday.

At tea, Australia, leading by 35 runs from the first innings, reached 249 for one in their second innings with Katich undefeated on 109 - his fourth Test hundred - and their captain Ricky Ponting not out on 16 on the third day of the Test at Kensington Oval.

Left-handed opener Jaques was dismissed about half-hour before tea for 108 - his third Test hundred - after he put on 223 with Katich to put Australia in the box seat.

Jaques had reached his landmark, when he drove left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn through extra cover for his 10th four, but Fidel Edwards roared in and made the breakthrough.

Jaques, chasing a ball angled across him, was caught behind, much to the delight of Edwards, his teammates, and the cheering spectators.

Katich soon after reached his milestone, when he miscued a hook through backward square leg for a single. It was the left-hander's second hundred of the series, following his 113 in the first innings of second Test in Antigua.

The two openers had batted through the entire morning period to carry Australia to 163 without loss at the lunch interval.

Australia had continued from their overnight total of 35 without loss, and the two openers capitalised on the easier nature of the pitch and dropped anchor, as West Indies only seemed to be only going through the motions.

Neither Katich nor Jaques offered a chance, and everything West Indies tried, they seemed to find a method to counter it.

Katich chopped his 107th delivery from West Indies captain Chris Gayle - trundling his uncomplicated off-breaks - to square third man for two to reach his 50.

Jaques soon followed his lead and guided his 124th delivery from left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn to backward point for two to reach the half-century mark.

Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0, after they won the opening Test at Sabina Park in the Jamaica capital of Kingston by 95 runs.

The second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in the Antigua village of North Sound was drawn.

As a result, the Aussies have already retained the Frank Worrell Trophy.

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