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Apr 10, 2012 at 03:56am IST

Clarke rescues Aus but WI still on top

Bridgetown, Barbados: Australia captain Michael Clarke hit a fluent 73 on Monday as his team reached 248 for 5 to trail West Indies by 201 runs at stumps on the third day of the opening Test. In pursuit of West Indies' formidable first innings of 449 for 9 declared, Australia batsman Michael Hussey compiled a confident 47 not out with team-mates David Warner (42) and Shane Watson (39) also making starts at Kensington Oval.

Darren Sammy led West Indies' bowling with 2 for 33, while there was a wicket apiece for fast bowler Kemar Roach (1 for 56) and legspinner Devendra Bishoo (1 for 77). Sammy gave the locals an early lift with two early strikes after Australia had resumed the day on 44 for 0. The wily medium-pacer removed both openers in similar fashion inside the first hour. Ed Cowan pushed forward defensively on 14 to a ball angled across him and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh snapped up the edge.

Warner compiled 42 off 55 balls with five boundaries before he also went hard at Sammy and snicked low to Darren Bravo at second slip. Australia were in further strife at 84 for 3 when 163-Test veteran Ricky Ponting was run out for 4 after a mix-up with Shane Watson. Watson always wanted a second run to square leg, but Ponting hesitated and perished when Kraigg Brathwaite's throw found both batsmen in the same half of the pitch.

Clarke rescues Aus but WI still hold the edge

The Aussies (248 for 5) were trailing the hosts by 201 at the close of play on day three.

Watson and Clarke shared a stand of 49 that took Australia to 133 for 3 at lunch. But Roach broke through with the second ball after the interval, Watson chasing a wide ball and giving Baugh another comfortable catch. Watson, who had survived two lbw shouts early in his innings, hit five fours and a six in 80 deliveries. West Indies struggled to find a way through afterwards as Clarke and Hussey fashioned a partnership of 82. Clarke overcame an DRS reprieve before lunch — initially given out caught behind off Bishoo by umpire Tony Hill — to play some classic strokes.

Clarke hit four fours and a six in 172 balls before he went trying to attack Bishoo. He was 18 short of reaching 6,000 Test runs when he skewed a catch off the leading edge to Narsingh Deonarine at long-off to make the score 215 for 5. But as the light faded, Hussey and debutant Matthew Wade forged another defiant stand of 33 despite the left-handers having some difficult moments against the spinners on a wearing pitch. Hussey struck six fours in 157 balls. Wade, who slapped his first ball in Test cricket for a boundary through extra cover, was unbeaten on 19 off 53 balls.

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