Benn, Roach help West Indies to take lead
by Jinu Sabastian
DateLine: 6th December 2009
The West Indian side displayed immense determination and grit to stage a brilliant fightback in the ongoing second Test after the thrashing of the first Test. Benn and Roach combined brilliantly to dent the Australian first innings as the pair took eight wickets between them to dismiss Australia for 439 runs to gain a slender lead of 12 runs.
The day did not start favourably for the Australian side as they lost overnight batsman Shane Watson (96) in the second ball of the day. Benn pushed one quicker through the air and Watson who was trying to force it through midwicket missed it completely to be cleaned up. Benn continued to trouble the Australian batsmen as he picked up the other opener Katich (80) when the batsman mistimed a drive only to lob it to Barath who was lurking nearby. Ponting looked confident in the middle as he was timing the ball brilliantly and it looked like the Windies were going to have along day in the field.
If Ponting was fluent Hussey was scratchy in his stay at the crease. Ponting looked rarely troubled in his stay as he drove of the front foot and back foot without much fuss. He looked set for a huge score before a short one from Roach hurried onto the Australian skipper who pulled lamely to Bravo at midwicket for a well made 36. Hussey never looked comfortable during his stay as he scratched around for 126 balls for his 41 before Roach put him out of his misery. Clarke also struggled for fluency but his growing maturity was evident by the way he soaked up the pressure as he steadied the Australian innings. Clarke soaked up the pressure put on by the west Indian bowlers to get to a well deserved fifty which had consumed 93 balls.
After tea the West Indian team found more success when Benn, who was impressive throughout the morning, got the wicket of North (16) who tried to sweep but got the back of the bat for an easy catch to Bravo at leg slip as the Australian side began to slide. Benn continued to cause a dent in the Australian innings when he induced Clarke (71) to edge to Sarwan at slip. Sammy also did his part when he removed the dangerous Johnson for 7 as Australia found themselves at 377 for 7. Hauritz (17) found the pace of Roach too hot to handle while Benn picked up his maiden five-fer when he had Siddle (0) caught at gully as the Australian side slipped.
With the last man in Haddin farmed the strike excellently as he shielded the tailender Bollinger as he constantly took singles in the last ball on the overs so that he could get the majority of the strike. Haddin brought up a well-paced half-century with a massive six off Benn but in the very next over trying to get the strike back he chanced the arm of Benn at long-on. Benn's throw was accurate enough for Roach to collect the ball and run-out Bollinger who was well short of his crease.
The West Indian openers had to face four overs but the combo of Johnson and Bollinger did not trouble the openers as the openers safely negotiated the period extending the overall lead to 35 runs.