An 89-run partnership between Mike Hussey and James Pattinson ensured Australia remained in control at the end of the second day of the second Test against the West Indies on Monday.
Hussey (73) and Pattinson (32) helped push the tourists, who are 1-0 up in the three-match series, to 311 all out as the West Indies finished the day on 49 for three, still trailing by 262 runs at the Queen’s Park Oval.
However, Kemar Roach insisted the West Indies were still very much in the match.
“We’re big boys. We’re big men,” the seamer said. “So we’re a bit behind, but so it goes in cricket. We can come back. We will come back tomorrow and play cricket the way we want to play cricket.”
Hussey top-scored for Australia before falling to Narsingh Deonarine.
Rain arrived shortly before lunch, just after Hussey had brought up his half-century, and Australia added 59 runs for the loss of one wicket before lunch to take the score to 267 for six.
The showers became heavier and another 100 minutes were lost, which will mean early starts for the remainder of the Test.
Hussey admitted the wicket was hard to bat on.
“The odd one is spinning a lot. The odd one is staying low. The odd one is bouncing a bit. So, again, you can’t trust the conditions, you can’t trust the pitch to go through with your shots,” Hussey said.
After the extended break, the West Indies team appeared to be getting more and more frustrated as Hussey and Pattinson were batting with confidence, although deliveries were still regularly passing the edge.
“I think the times I got most angry with him was when he started to chase the ball and went for those big wild ones outside off stump, but while he was playing nice and straight, and not deviating from his line, I was more than happy with the way he was playing,” said Hussey of what it was like watching Pattinson battle at the other end. “I thought he did a fantastic job.”
With the score on 297 the breakthrough finally came.
It surprised everyone when Hussey did not move his feet to a Deonarine delivery and simply slapped it to short extra-cover where Kraigg Brathwaite held the chance.
Like Deonarine’s other victim, Michael Clarke, Hussey could not believe the shot he had played. He had batted for more than four hours in another fine innings.
His seventh-wicket partnership with Pattinson had been worth 89 runs, but the fall of the wicket opened up the tail.
As so often seems to happen, when one falls the other batsman goes too.
Just five balls later, without further addition to the score, Pattinson got a top-edge to a ball from Shane Shillingford. Despite confusion between the fielders, Darren Bravo took the skied chance.
Ben Hilfenhaus had survived a Decision Review System leg before wicket decision when Shillingford struck his pads. In the next over, he played a lovely cut shot off Roach to the boundary, but next ball his stumps were knocked back. The ball rebounded off his legs and Australia had lost their ninth wicket.
Roach hit Michael Beer on the pads and two balls later he was given out by South African umpire Marais Erasmus. The decision stood despite the batsman using the review system.
The West Indies seamer had taken a five-wicket haul for the third time in his career.
Clarke pulled a surprise move at the start of the West Indies innings by opening the bowling with left-arm off-spinner Beer. Hilfenhaus was operating from the other end.