Lyon spins Australia into strong position

2016-01-03 10:08
Nathan Lyon (AFP)

Sydney - Nathan Lyon claimed his 100th Test wicket in Australia with the dismissal of top-scoring opener Kraigg Brathwaite late on the opening day of the rain-hit third Test against the West Indies in Sydney on Sunday.

Brathwaite had defied Australia's bowlers and two rain delays before he gave away his wicket late in the day to Lyon for 85.

Brathwaite, one of the few shining lights in a dismal Windies tour with 94 in the first Hobart Test, was in sight of his fifth Test century before he fell to Lyon.

It gave the Australia off-spinner his 100th Test in Australia and 184th scalp overall.

At the close, after 75 overs were squeezed in around two lengthy rain interruptions, the West Indies were 207 for six with Denesh Ramdin on 23 and Carlos Brathwaite not out 35 after winning the toss.

Australia have already retained the Frank Worrell Trophy after huge wins in the first two Tests and are chasing a 3-0 series clean sweep.

Brathwaite, who along with Darren Bravo has been the best-performing batsman in the series for the struggling visitors, was deceived by Lyon's extra bounce and attempted to steer the ball past slip.

But instead he dollied a catch off his glove to Steve Smith at slip.

His dismissal was quickly followed by the wicket of skipper Jason Holder, who was instinctively caught by Joe Burns at short leg for one off left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe.

Brathwaite watched four batting partners come and go as Australia used two recognised spinners in Lyon and O'Keefe for the first time in a home Test for a decade.

Shai Hope, recalled for injured opener Rajendra Chandrika, began positively with some crisp drives but fell in the fifth over.

Josh Hazlewood got him to prod outside the off-stump and he was snapped up by Peter Nevill for nine.

Brathwaite put on 91 runs for the second wicket with Darren Bravo before Bravo was out in the third over after lunch for 33.

James Pattinson dug one in and Bravo top-edged to Usman Khawaja at backward square leg.

Marlon Samuels was run out in a dreadful mid-pitch mix-up before the first rain interruption in the afternoon session.

Samuels, who has scored a total of 35 runs in five innings in the series, hit towards point and darted off for a run only to stop in the middle of the pitch.

Batting partner Brathwaite had dropped his bat before retreating to his end and Samuels was stranded by Hazlewood's throw to the striker's end.

To compound Samuels' woes, rain immediately forced the players from the field and kept them off until tea was taken.

Upon resumption Jermaine Blackwood misjudged Lyon's turn and was bowled off-stump for 10 after not offering a shot.

Chandrika injured his groin in the morning warm-up, after leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo hurt his shoulder on the morning of the second Melbourne Test.

The West Indies, who are playing in their first Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 15 years, have not won a Test in Australia since 1997.

Read more on:    west indies  |  australia  |  nathan lyon  |  cricket

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