Australia in command

2009-12-16 16:30

Perth - Australia were 339 for three at stumps on the first day of the third Test against the West Indies at the WACA, Perth, on Wednesday.
Mike Hussey (81) and Marcus North (23) will continue in the morning.

Australia were given a good platform to their innings when Shane Watson and Simon Katich combined for a 132-run first-wicket partnership.

Watson was given a life when he had seven - Kemar Roach induced an edge but Windies skipper Chris Gayle could not hold on to the chance in the slips.

Well on his way to Australia's first century of the series, Watson (89) defended an excellent ball from Kemar Roach but only managed to get an edge and Denesh Ramdin bagged a comfortable catch behind the stumps.

At the other end, Ricky Ponting had his own demons to contend with.

Not normally bothered by short deliveries, Ponting was instantly in trouble against Roach - a snorter off the quickie cannoned into the skipper's elbow, causing some discomfort, and though he continued batting awkwardly for 23 runs, he retired to have a precautionary X-ray taken.

Simon Katich, however, appeared to be untroubled, batting with his usual calm, rotating the strike when needed, but not scared to punish the bad ball either.

It was therefore a great surprise when, on 99, he tried to sweep Sulieman Benn, only to hit the ball in the air to Roach at square leg who dived to his left and completed a low catch.

Michael Clarke came and went without mush fuss, and it will now be up to Hussey in the morning to see if he could become the first Australian to reach triple figures this series.

Earlier, the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first.

Peter Siddle has not recovered from the hamstring problem that curbed his participation in Adelaide and Clint McKay therefore made his test debut.

The visitors have left out Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Adrian Barath because of finger and hamstring injuries. They also brought in Gavin Tonge for Darren Sammy.


Australia: Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Clint McKay, Doug Bollinger.

West Indies: Chris Gayle (capt), Travis Dowlin, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Dwayne Bravo, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Gavin Tonge, Sulieman Benn, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach.