West Indies showed much determination ahead of their Frank Worrell Trophy series against Australia, fighting back from an early hole to take the challenge up to the Prime Minister’s XI today.
They were staring down the barrel of another disastrous day with the ball when PM’s XI were 134 for 0, but showed spirit to take six wickets in the evening session as their host finished the day at 297 for 9 at the Manuka Oval.
The PM’s side resumed after the dinner break at 198 for 3, but the West Indies found a spark through offspinner Roston Chase, his two wickets swinging the game slightly in their favour at stumps. Chase first produced a gem that turned plenty and clean bowled Aaron Hardie, while another great delivery spun past Peter Handscomb and had him stumped for 55.
The visitors took the new pink ball late in the evening session of the four-day, day-night clash, and immediately found some reward, with Alzarri Joseph knocking over Michael Neser and Joel Paris. And he found a third with the last ball of the night, with Ashton Agar chopping on to his stumps after a quickfire 33.
“This is a game of patience,” Joseph told reporters. “You could bowl well in this session but you have to stay patient and your reward might come at the end the game. You get your opportunity with a new ball, with the lights on it takes a bit more effect and does a bit more.
“The pink ball is pretty easy to bat [against] during the day, but when it gets down to maybe 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., twilight starts to come in and the light starts taking effect, that’s when you know the bowlers have a better chance.”
It was the lifeline they needed after a dismal afternoon that saw PM’s XI openers Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw cruise through their triple-figure partnership. Harris, the only PM’s XI player in Australia’s squad for the first Test in Perth next Wednesday, continued his strong form and made 73 before a loose slash saw him caught at second slip.
Renshaw took over and thumped ten boundaries in his 81, but also fell short of a century when he edged Raymon Reifer to the slips.
“It was an enjoyable day, challenging yourself against a pretty good bowling attack…they kept coming and kept coming,” Renshaw said. “They bowled really well, obviously they’ve got a couple guys on the sidelines as well who could come in.
“We always know the night sessions where you can come out and something can start happening. They’re an exciting young group and they’ve got some pace and they’ve got some skills. It will be an interesting watch for the Test matches over the summer.”
Future Test hopeful Henry Hunt couldn’t show the form that made him last season’s Sheffield Shield player of the year, falling for 13.
Joseph (3 for 52) led the way, and Chase (2 for 72) was important, while frontline quick Kemar Roach took 1 for 40. It was an important fightback from West Indies, playing just days after conceding 426 for 4 against a combined ACT/NSW XI. (Cricinfo)