Windies in shambles despite Taylor career-best

Kingston (Jamaica), June 13 (IANS) Shambolic batting once again derailed West Indies and left them with a mountain to climb as Australia stamped their authority on the second Test with an emphatic display here.

Chasing Australia’s carefully constructed 399, West Indies were dreadful in reply and slumped to 143/8 — still 256 runs adrift at the end of the second day of the lopsided contest at Sabina Park on Friday, reports CMC.

Jermaine Blackwood stroked a typically bold top score of 51 and Shai Hope got 26 but no other batsman made it past 14 in yet another lifeless first innings display which has severely compromised their hopes of levelling the series.

They were undermined by seamer Josh Hazlewood (3/15) and off-spinner Nathan Lyon (3/35) both of whom grabbed three wickets apiece to cripple the innings.

The tone for the innings was set when West Indies lost debutant opener Rajindra Chandrika without scoring and wickets then fell steadily with Blackwood and captain Denesh Ramdin resisting briefly in a 42-run, sixth-wicket stand – the best of the innings so far.

Blackwood was carrying West Indies’ fight, having struck seven fours and a six when he squandered his wicket in the day’s penultimate over. That was the break Australia needed and they promptly had Veerasammy Permaul caught behind on review in the day’s final over, to end on a high.

The Windies ineptitude overshadowed the brilliance of fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who claimed career-best figures of 6/47 as Australia were dismissed after lunch.

Stroke-maker Steve Smith fell agonising short of his first career double hundred when he became Taylor’s sixth victim, leg before wicket for 199. The right-hander struck 21 fours and two sixes in his innings.

Resuming on 135 with Australia on 258/4, he lost overnight partner Shane Watson who added just five to his overnight 20 before offering no stroke to Taylor and having his off-stump clipped.

Soon, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin missed a drive and was bowled by Taylor for 22 with three fours and a six.

Mitchell Johnson hung around before nicking seamer Kemar Roach to Darren Bravo at slip for five and Mitchell Starc was last to fall before lunch, bowled by seamer Jason Holder (2/64) for six as Australia reached the interval at 350/8.

Smith and Hazlewood, who made 24, added a precious 63 for the ninth before Smith failed to negotiate a fast, full-length delivery and was plumb. Hazlewood holed out to long-on in the next over to end the innings.

The Windies carnage started early when Chandrika drove at a wide ball from left-armer Starc and edged a simple catch to Haddin.

Kraigg Brathwaite (4) pushed down the wrong line at Lyon and was bowled and Darren Bravo was looking comfortable in making 14 before playing back to Lyon and finding himself palpably lbw.

Once again, Shane Dowrich shaped up well and had counted two fours in 13 when he wafted at a wide one from Hazlewood and edged behind at 44/3.

Blackwood and Hope attempted a repair job in a fifth-wicket stand of 33. Both played positively. Hope was eventually out tamely, edging a forward defensive prod at Lyon into Haddin’s lap after hitting four fours.

Blackwood, dropped on 22 by captain Michael Clarke at first slip off Lyon, played his natural game.

He lost Ramdin to a LBW decision at the hands of Hazlewood but safely made his way to his first Test half-century on home soil.

He was out later, picking out David Warner at mid-off with a loose drive off Hazlewood.

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