ROSEAU, Dominica, (Reuters) – Shane Shillingford delighted his fellow Dominicans with a four wicket haul as West Indies restricted Australia to 212 for seven on the first day of the third and final test.
Although Australia lead the series 1-0, it was clear from an upbeat performance that Darren Sammy’s improving West Indies team believe they have a chance to level the series.
Shillingford was already adored by the home crowd, who relished the chance to watch a Dominican play in a test on home soil for the first time, and after his excellent spell today his status in his homeland was further elevated.
The off-spinner produced turn and bounce and showed a varied repertoire which frustrated Australia’s batsmen and claimed the heart of their middle order.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke both got into the twenties before Shillingford removed them and, with pacemen Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul both threatening, there was little respite for the tourists.
Rampaul, drafted in for the injured Fidel Edwards, struck with his second ball as left-hander Ed Cowan (one) offered no shot to a sharp inswinger in the second over and was trapped leg before.
Rampaul, generating some impressive pace as well as his trademark swing, should also have removed Australia’s other opener cheaply.
Warner, on five, reached for a wide delivery and edged to Sammy at third slip but the West Indies skipper spilled a straightforward chance.
Sammy though was to make up for that mistake with two catches and a wicket with his own medium-pace.
Warner and Shane Watson got their heads down putting on 83 before Watson (41) went to pull Sammy but top-edged to Narsingh Deonarine in the deep to leave the tourists at 84 for two.
Shillingford finally got rid of Warner (50) with a ball that rose sharply, the left-hander top-edging to Kieran Powell at point.
Former skipper Ponting moved past Rahul Dravid into second place in the all-time test run-makers list when he reached 23 but 10 balls later, an outside edge looped to Sammy at leg-slip.
The Windsor Park crowd, basking in the sunshine at the ground, which is cradled by lush green mountains, roared their appreciation and they soon had plenty more to celebrate.
Australia captain Michael Clarke (24) and Mike Hussey (10) both fell victim to the quick turn and bounce of Shillingford who leaped around the square in delight.
Roach gained some reward for his exertions when Ryan Harris got tangled up in an attempted hook and gloved the ball to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh.
West Indies have learned already that it takes some work to remove the Australia tail and Mitchell Starc (24) and Matthew Wade (22) provided some much-needed resistance partnership putting on 43 before the close.
Nonetheless the day still belonged to the West Indies and in particular to their ‘Deadly Dominican’.