Day two report from the Gabba:
That’s it from us today, thanks to Martin Pegan for the early stint and do join us tomorrow for what promises to be a box office day three at the Gabba. Goodbye!
A sickener of a blow for the visitors at the last but they’ve had a really good day all told. A narrow lead and the opportunity to bat for a couple of sessions in the day time tomorrow to build a challenging target. Yes, they might be reeling a little that they didn’t blow the Aussies away once they had them five down for fifty-odd but Cummins’ side aren’t the No1 Test side for no reason. Khawaja, Carey and Cummins himself wrestled the home side back into the match during the afternoon and early evening. Tomorrow promises to be a belter.
He has! It was the most gossamer thin edge but the snicko shows a small spike and Chanderpaul has to go. Australia end the day with a scalp and the players depart a misty and muggy Gabba after a fine day of Test match cricket.
Australia call for a last over review! Has Hazlewood nicked off Chanderpaul?
West Indies 13-0 (Braithwaite 3, Chanderpaul 4) Starc sprays one short and wide, Brathwaite wafts at it unwisely and the ball beats Alex Carey to run away for four byes. Brathwaite wrestling with his form and technique out in the middle, never good, but especially so with Mitchell Starc scudding them past your edge. Starc is done for the day, he’ll have that Steve Smith dropped catch to keep him company on his pillow later. One more to go, can West Indies make it through unscathed…
West Indies 9-0 (Braithwaite 3, Chanderpaul 4) A testing maiden from Hazlewood. There are about eight minutes left in the day for West Indies to survive. It’s been an absorbing day of Test cricket. Steve Smith has his hands on his hips and is staring intently at the big screen as it shows his drop on repeat. There’s no feeling like it on a cricket field:
STOP PRESS – STEVE SMITH HAS SHELLED KRAIGG BRATHWAITE! The safest of hands has given the West Indies skipper a huge let off. A regulation snick to a poor defensive prod and the ball carried all the way to Smith at shin height… it slaps into his palms and falls to the turf. Starc can’t believe it, Smitch is furious with himself. Late drama at the Gabba.
West Indies 9-0 (Braithwaite 3, Chanderpaul 4)
West Indies 7-0 (Braithwaite 2, Chanderpaul 4) West Indies opening pair doing the job under lights so far. Hanging back and watching the ball until the last minute, negating any movement and playing with soft hands. They manage to rotate the strike two with a single each.
West Indies 5-0 (Braithwaite 1, Chanderpaul 2) Brathwaite is watchful. This is so tough for him, he’s been out in the field marshalling his bowlers all day and now he has Starc and Hazlewood soaring in at him under lights with a new pink ball. Another over negotiated though, just a Starc front foot no ball adding a single to the score.
West Indies 3-0 (Brathwaite 1, Chanderpaul 2) Josh Hazlewood shares the new pink sherbert and is right on the button. Six dots but crucially nothing in the wickets column.
West Indies 3-0 (Brathwaite 1, Chanderpaul 2) Starc thunders in surrounded by a quadrant of his own shadow. The ball jags off the surface but Brathwaite defends well. Ooohs and ahhhs in Brisbane. Well played Kraigg, Brathwaite gets off the mark with a well judged single to mid off. Chanderpaul is deep in his crease and squatting really low, covering his stumps, blocking two dots and then getting off the mark himself with a cut shot off the cue end that brings him a couple.
Here come Brathwaite and Chanderpaul. This is all about survival for West Indies – if they can get through this period for the loss of a maximum of two (?) wickets then they can build a lead in the day time tomorrow. Mitchell Starc has a ludicrously luminous pink in his mitts and the Gabba crowd are baying. Test bloody cricket. Let’s play!
Cummins trots off the field after Lyon. He wants a dart at the Windies this evening under lights. Gulp. This is going to be a high octane final 30 minutes.
54th over: Australia 267-8 (Cummins 56, Lyon 1o) Lyon ramps a short ball from Alzarri Joseph for a single to bring Cummins on strike. A top edge over the keeper allows Cummins to take a single and he’s now gone past his highest ever Test score with the bat. That ain’t gonna help the cause – Joseph spears one over the keepers’s head and away for four byes. Gah! Alzarri bowls a no-ball that is driven away into the deep by Lyon… the batters run four runs! GONE! Lyon attempts a pull but tickles an edge behind…
52nd over: Australia 267-8 (Cummins 56, Lyon 1o) Cummins launches Keymar Roach downtown for SIX! Some knock this now from the Aussie cap’n. Nine runs off the over all told – 35 runs between the sides.
Here is that Kevin Sinclair celebration by the way:
51st over: Australia 267-8 (Cummins 56, Lyon 1o) Runs flowing, we aren’t going to see a declaration are we? How keen are Australia to have a bowl under lights this evening? Cummins gets three with a cut and digs out a yorker for a couple. My oh my. Some shot from Nathan Lyon, he punches away on the up for four down the ground. Eleven runs off the over and just 44 runs the difference now.
50th over: Australia 256-8 (Cummins 53, Lyon 3) The gymnastically gifted Sinclair tosses one up and Cummins times it away in the gap for four through cover. Thats Pat Cummins’ third Test fifty, his first as captain and his first since 2018. He’s stepped up today, his team were left reeling earlier today but are right back in this contest now.
49th over: Australia 251-8 (Cummins 48, Lyon 3) Cummins might have decided to give it some humpty now. Alzarri Joseph returns and is smashed behind point for four runs off his first ball. Three more come for Australia as Lyon gets off the mark with a clip for three. The deficit stands at 60 runs. It’s been a great contest today, ebb and flow. Is there another twist in this final hour?
48th over: Australia 242-8 (Cummins 42, Lyon 0) Nathan Lyon is the new batter. He’d have been happy with the Sinclair wicket, flight and dip, drawing the set Khawaja into the stroke. The lead stands at 69 for West Indies. Game on at the Gabba, two more wickets needed BUT if they take them then the visitors’ top order will face a horrible passage of play against the new ball under lights before stumps.
BREAKTHROUGH! Sinclair throws one up wide of off stump and Khawaja throws his hands at it, the edge is taken by Athanaze at slip and Sinclair has his first Test wicket – he celebrates it in style by doing a forward flip and somersault! Go on Kevin! Simone Biles would have been happy with that routine.
47th over: Australia 238-7 (Khawaja 71, Cummins 42) Greaves stems the flow with a maiden, wickets the currency needed now for West Indies.
46th over: Australia 238-7 (Khawaja 71, Cummins 42) Pat Cummins shows his dexterity and paddle sweeps Greaves for four. Now, was that an edge dropped? Replays shows that Cummins got a feather on another attempted paddle but Da Silva couldn’t gather the ball as it headed down the leg side for a bye. That’s the nearest the visitors have come to a breakthrough for a while. The Khawaja/Cummins partnership has risen to 77 vital runs.
45th over: Australia 232-7 (Khawaja 70, Cummins 38) Greaves is around the wicket to Khawaja who greets him with a fizzing cover drive for four! Back over the wicket for the bowler but still the lead is ticked down. Seven runs off the over and Australia trail by 79 runs now.
44th over: Australia 225-7 (Khawaja 65, Cummins 36) Khawaja pulls Sinclair away to the leg side rope for four and Cummins gets in on the act by unfurling a powerful cut shot in the gap for the second boundary of the over. Dangerous times for the men in maroon caps.
43rd over: Australia 216-7 (Khawaja 60, Cummins 32) More runs to Australia, more pain for West Indies. Usman plays a textbook straight drive down the ground for four and Cummins is quick on his feet to rock back and work Roach away for a brace of twos. The deficit is down to 96 runs.
42nd over: Australia 207-7 (Khawaja 55, Cummins 28) Kevin Sinclair is given a twirl and he starts with a tidy maiden to Pat Cummins.
Hello to you Eamonn Maloney!
“Happy uncontroversial national day James, which is also Republic day in India, which looks to be going well in the Rajiv Gandhi National Stadium. Gwan the Windies and viva test cricket is the thinking man’s position, I posit. Would be good to see these middle order allrounders perform with the ball for the maroon caps, averaging 30 in each discipline is ok from 6-8”
A fair few people rooting for West Indies out there, I suspect a fair few Aussies might be too in the hope that we see a really good ding dong here over the next few days.
41st over: Australia 207-7 (Khawaja 55, Cummins 28) Roach finds Cummins’ edge but the ball heads straight into the turf and trickles away allowing a couple to be scampered. The lead is nearly down to double figures, West Indies need to find something here.
40th over: Australia 202-7 (Khawaja 54, Cummins 25) Justin Greaves replaces Shamar Joseph and starts around the wicket with a catcher in short on the leg side. Khawaja checks a square drive for a single. Evening has fully set in at the Gabba. Shadows left right and centre. No sign of Cliff though*. HoHo. The sun is out in south London proving that truly, anything is possible in this life.
39th over: Australia 201-7 (Khawaja 53, Cummins 25) Roach gets into his work straight away and lands the ball consistently on the money just outside off stump. Khawaja gets a single from the fifth ball and Cummins isn’t interested in a leg side-ish short ball that finishes the over. Australia trail by 110 runs, this Test match is simmering away nicely.
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38th over: Australia 200-7 (Khawaja 52, Cummins 25) The double ton comes up for Australia with three singles off Shamar Joseph. Man of the first session – Kemar Roach – is being recalled.
37th over: Australia 197-7 (Khawaja 50, Cummins 25) Usman Khawaja clips off his toes for a single to bring up his 26th Test match fifty. The ICC Men’s Test Player of the year is doing the biz for his country in 2024 too. Cummins picks up four in the vacant third area again, Braithwaite needs to plug that hole pronto. Bosh! Cummins unfurls a dreamy cover drive, hit with plenty of power, these runs are hurting West Indies.
36th over: Australia 188-7 (Khawaja 49, Cummins 16) Shot! Cummins opens the face and runs Shamar Joseph down to a vacant third region for four. A clip off the hip brings Khawaja on strike. He goes to 49 with a cut to the man on the off side fence. The deficit stands at 123 runs.
35th over: Australia 182-7 (Khawaja 48, Cummins 11) Khawaja closes in on fifty, he’s been the glue in this innings. Alzarri spears one into Cummins’ ribcage that the batter does well to clip away for a couple down to fine leg.
34th over: Australia 179-7 (Khawaja 47, Cummins 10) Shamar Joseph continues and there’s a solitary single to Khawaja who nudges wide of point.
33rd over: Australia 178-7 (Khawaja 46, Cummins 10) It’s been an all action resumption after tea, Alzarri Joseph puts Cummins on the deck with a rapid bouncer, Pat does well to get out of the way of that one. Close! Cummins gets a meaty edge on a flat bat shot that flies wide of the cordon for four runs. A more assure shot brings Cummins three as he drives on the front foot down the ground. The deficit is 133 runs. West Indies will obviously want as big a lead as possible on first innings – the lights are on and the ball is moving around – can they dust off the Australian tail and blunt the new ball under lights? It should be an intriguing couple of hours from here.
32nd over: Australia 169-7 (Khawaja 45, Cummins 3) Shamar Joseph bangs one in that screeches past Khawaja’s lid and the bowler isn’t afraid to follow it up with a bit of a glare. It’s a poor next ball though – a half volley that Khawaja clips nonchalantly for four through the leg side. Youth meets experience.
31st over: Australia 163-7 (Khawaja 40, Cummins 2) Pat Cummins is the new batter and he almost runs himself out first ball! The Aussie skipper nudges to gully and takes off for a run but Khawaja isn’t having any of it, rightly so. McKenzie gathers and has time to aim and shy at the stumps but misses with Cummins long since having given up. Settle down Pat!
Evening has descended in Brisbane. Here come the players and their shadows.
Australia’s predicament could have been whole lot worse if this bail had followed orders:
This made me chuckle:
Gone! West Indies finish the session strongly – Alzarri pushes one across Starc who obliges by attempting a wafty drive and edging through to Da Silva. The players leave the field, Australia still trail by 150 runs but still have Usman Khawaja at the crease to shepherd the tail. Time for tea.
30th over: Australia 161-6 (Khawaja 40, Starc 2) Ten runs come off Shamar’s over. A clip off the hip sees four leg byes down to fine leg off Khawaja’s kecks and a controlled pull out into the deep brings Usman three and Starc onto strike. A couple of singles follow. We might get one more in before din dins.
29th over: Australia 151-6 (Khawaja 36, Starc 0) Alzarri Joseph comes back into the attack for a burst of pace from the other end too. We’ve got about ten minutes before the dinner break – it could be a barrage of short stuff incoming. Khawaja is watchful, hanging back and dead batting before tipping for single to leave Starc one delivery to face. Alzarri steams in and thuds a brutish ball into Starc’s grille! That looks painful. We’ll have a moment or two here to check Mitchell Starc is ok. The helmet has done its job but Starc looked far from comfortable there. The big bowler gives the thumbs up but looks a bit shaken up. Cartoon bluebirds on his shoulder.
28th over: Australia 150-6 (Khawaja 34, Starc 0) Shamar Joseph has his dander up after prising out Carey – he greets Mitchell Starc with 134kph bouncer that whistles past the nostrils… close! Joseph finds the edge of Starc’s blade but the catch falls short of a diving second slip by a blade or two of grass. Don’t go anywhere.
Carey holes out! That’s a big moment in this Test – Carey was looking sublime and carving Australia back into this match but he fails to roll the wrists on a pull shot off Joseph and Chanderpaul swallows the catch at deep midwicket.