Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Drainage problems stymie Aussies

SIGNING OFF On the day he announced his retirement from the international game, Stuart MacGill picked up the wicket of West Indies skipper, Ramneresh Sarwan

AFP , ST JOHN'S, ANTIGUA

A day that promised much delivered very little, after heavy overnight and early morning rain coupled with poor drainage stymied Australia's charge in the second Test against the West Indies on Sunday.

When stumps were drawn on the third day at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, West Indies, replying to Australia’s first innings total of 479 for seven declared, were 255 for four — still 25 adrift of the follow-on target — after the start was delayed by five and a half hours.

Australia were hamstrung, when the drainage system which was recently reinstalled at the ground did not respond effectively to the morning deluge, and the outfield remained soggy in a number of areas.

Australia did not fully assert themselves in the two and three quarter hours available to them before the close, but they managed to remove Ramnaresh Sarwan for 65, after he added 77 for the fourth wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Sarwan, leading West Indies in the absence of injured Chris Gayle, had reached his 50, when he turned a ball from Brett Lee into the leg-side for a single.

He was dismissed however when he edged playing defensively forward, and was caught at slip off Stuart MacGill.

The Aussies however, did not have things all their own way, and Chanderpaul also used the time to steadily progress to another Test half-century.

He reached the landmark, when he nudged a delivery from Mitchell Johnson to square leg for a single, and was unbeaten on 55 at the close, alongside Dwayne Bravo, who was not out on 29.

The visitors saw the pair add an unbroken 73 for the fifth wicket with Bravo delighting the crowd with two huge sixes over long-on off MacGill.

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