PORT OF SPAIN, (Reuters) – Shivnarine Chanderpaul fell agonisingly short of a century before Australian spinner Nathan Lyon destroyed the West Indian lower order to hand the momentum back to the visitors on the third day of the second test today.
Chanderpaul was dismissed for 94 after surviving a dropped catch early in his innings. He led a West Indian fightback with a blend of defence and controlled aggression.
But his gritty performance counted for little at the end of the day after the fragile West Indian batting crumbled and the home side were reduced to 252 for nine at the close, still 59 behind Australia’s first innings of 311 in a low scoring match.
Lyon (5-68) triggered the collapse when he captured five wickets in a devastating spell late in the final session on an increasingly difficult Queen’s Park Road pitch.
Chanderpaul, who scored an unbeaten hundred in last week’s first test defeat in Barbados, shared a 130 run partnership with Narsingh Deonarine (55) to give West Indies hope of a first innings lead when the wheels suddenly fell off and they lost five wickets for just 19 runs.
Deonarine was stumped by Matthew Wade shortly after completing his third half-century in his 10th test then Lyon trapped Chanderpaul lbw with a ball that turned just enough to beat the inside edge.
Darren Sammy (one), Shane Shillingford (four) and Kemar Roach (no score) then followed in quick succession, leaving Carlton Baugh (17 not out) and Fidel Edwards (no score) to battle through to the close.
Chanderpaul, a thorn in Australian sides for years, had been given a life on eight when the Australian skipper Michael Clarke failed to grasp a difficult chance at slip that deflected off Wade.
The unorthodox lefthander then made the Australians pay for the missed opportunity with a watchful 217-ball innings that featured 10 boundaries and a six, off leftarm spinner Michael Beer.
Deonarine also had a close shave early in his innings, scrambling home by a whisker to avoid being run out on the last ball before lunch.
The day began in bizarre circumstances when play was delayed for 20 minutes because of a power outage.
The two teams walked on to the field as scheduled but were told by match referee Jeff Crowe to retreat back to the dressing room before a ball was bowled because there was no live television footage.
Australia’s frontline bowlers failed to make any inroads in the morning session and it was left to part-time seamer Mike Hussey to make the initial breakthrough, removing Darren Bravo for 38.
Australia did not get another wicket until after tea when the second session was interrupted for around 90 minutes because of a passing rain shower.