Windies facing defeat after Aussies set massive target

Kingston (Jamaica), June 14 (IANS) West Indies are staring in the face of a series defeat as Australia established a commanding hold on the third day of the second Test at Sabina Park here.

Australia have made a confident gamble by giving West Indies a massive assignment with a winning target of nearly 400 to make in more than two days after declaring their second innings on 212/2 after tea on Saturday, reports CMC.

Earlier, Australia, who piled up 399 in their first innings, bowled out West Indies for 220 just before lunch to further reinforce their dominance on the home side in the lopsided encounter.

At stumps, West Indies, in their second innings, were reeling on 16/2, losing openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Rajendra Chandrika, who both fell in the first over bowled by Mitchell Starc.

Brathwaite departed without scoring while Chandrika’s Test debut horror continued with his second duck in a row.

Denesh Ramdin’s men require another 376 runs with eight wickets intact and two days available.

All-rounder Jason Holder emerged as the star of West Indies first innings with a brilliant knock to save the home side from follow on even as Australia were asserting their strangle hold on the match.

Holder’s lusty hitting propelled him to a top score of 82 as West Indies, resuming from their overnight 143/8, were all out for 220 before lunch, 179 runs adrift of Australia’s first innings total of 399.

Holder was in no nonsense mood as he clattered his way to 82 off 63 from an overnight 13, hitting 12 fours and two sixes.

Kemar Roach scored little but stuck around for a while to back-up his Bajan counterpart before Josh Hazlewood dismissed the last two in the same over and on the same score to claim his second five-wicket haul in Tests.

Holder led a lower order futile fight-back with his exquisitely-timed drives and dominated the ninth-wicket stand with Roach which produced 77 runs and took West Indies across the 200 run mark.

Australia, who went to lunch on 22 without loss in their second innings, made the West Indians toil in a frustrating post-lunch session.

An unbroken century stand for the first wicket between Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith took them to a lead of 316 as the home side struggled to pick up wickets.

Marsh and Smith, who put on 117 for the first wicket, both scored half centuries as Australia were cruising comfortably before pacer Roach shattered the opening partnership by removing Warner for 62.

Warner and Marsh were especially harsh on spinner Veerasammy Permaul, who was struck for several sixes and fours, conceding 47 runs from 10 overs.

Marsh and Steven Smith compiled 46 runs for the second wicket before Permaul struck, removing Marsh for 69 which included nine fours and a six.

Smith, who counted five boundaries and a six, was not out on 54 when the declaration came shortly after tea.

Darren Bravo is not out on eight while Shane Dowrich is on one as the West Indies attempt a herculean task of attempting a win or a draw with two days remaining.

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