Windies face uphill task

2015-12-27 08:02
Adam Voges (Getty)

Sydney - The West Indies made a safe start in their chase after Australia's massive first innings declaration in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Skipper Steve Smith called a halt to Australia's first innings at 551 for three while he was at the crease with Adam Voges midway through the second day.

At the time of the declaration Smith had reached his sixth Test century of the year and 13th overall on 134 with Voges unbeaten on 106.

At tea, Kraigg Brathwaite was on 17 with Rajendra Chandrika not out 14 with the West Indies openers having negotiated 14 overs.

The Australians had four century-makers among their top-five batsmen following Usman Khawaja's 144 and Joe Burns' 128 on Saturday's opening day. Only David Warner missed out with 23.

It was the first time that four Australian batsmen scored tons in a single Test innings in Australia.

The last time Australia had four centurions in an innings was against England in Cardiff in 2009.

Smith was recently named the ICC cricketer of the year and he is currently the leading run-scorer in Test cricket for 2015.

At the declaration Smith had scored 1,404 runs ahead of Alastair Cook's 1,357 with England currently playing South Africa in Durban.

Voges also moved past 1000 Test runs in his debut year with 1,028 runs in his 18th Test innings, with only three other Australians having done it in fewer knocks.

Voges, who has yet to be dismissed in the series after scoring an unbeaten 269 in Hobart, was also averaging an astonishing 542 in four Tests against the West Indies this year alone.

The 36-year-old was put down in a low catch by Darren Bravo in the slips off Carlos Brathwaite when on 56.

The pair put on an unbroken 223 runs for the fourth wicket after Khawaja and Burns posted a second-wicket stand of 258 on Saturday.

The tourists again struggled to make any impression in the Melbourne Test after losing by an innings and 212 runs in the first Hobart Test.

So far in the series, Australia have amassed 1,134 runs for the loss of just seven wickets against the flailing Caribbean tourists.

Australia's batting average in the series is 162, which is easily the highest for any team in a series. The next best is Pakistan's 125 average in two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2009.


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