x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

West Indies take lead over Australia

A five-wicket haul by Sulieman Benn helps West Indies take a psychological advantage over the hosts in the second Test match.

The Windies took six wickets at a cost of 93 runs after tea to bowl the Aussies out for 439 and then reached 23 without loss at stumps to extend their overall lead to 35 runs. Captain Chris Gayle took 11 runs off Mitchell Johnson's opening over and is unbeaten on 12, while Adrian Barath smashed a boundary off the last ball of the day to finish on 10. Australia may enter day four a bowler light with Peter Siddle staying off the field after feeling some tightness in his hamstring. Benn bowled 37 overs on Sunday and finished with career-best figures of five for 155 - his control, bounce and aggression worrying every batsman. He was well supported by a lively Kemar Roach who hurried up the Australians and took three wickets for 93. Watson was out on the second ball of the morning when he had his middle stump knocked out of the ground trying to pull a Benn delivery to bring up what would have been a maiden Test ton.

Katich was then caught at short leg by Barath off Benn in the ninth over of the day and the home side moved to 195 for two. The home side's top seven got starts but failed to go on to post centuries after Shane Watson (96) and Simon Katich (80) created an ideal launch pad with a 174-run opening stand. Brad Haddin made a spirited and unbeaten 55 and worked well with the tail before his focus on maintaining the strike saw number 11 Doug Bollinger run out. Benn struck in the third over after tea with Marcus North caught at leg slip off the back of his bat while attempting a sweep shot.

Michael Clarke, who brought up his half-century in the second session, added just nine runs to his tally before surrendering his wicket for 71. He waved his blade at a full Benn delivery and nicked one through to Ramnaresh Sarwan at first slip. Clarke's 179-minute, 130-ball innings featured five boundaries. Johnson's knock was brief and a lack of footwork played a part in his nick to Gayle who took a regulation catch off Darren Sammy at first slip. The Australians then regained the initiative in a 41-run partnership between Haddin and Nathan Hauritz. Hauritz made 17 before he was caught behind hooking off Roach. Siddle and Bollinger were dismissed without scoring but Haddin's urgent approach got the home side within striking distance of parity.