Brathwaite leads West Indies' resistance after Bonner retires hurt

Lunch West Indies 150 for 1 (Brathwaite 62*, Blackwood 9*) trail Australia 598 for 4 dec by 448 runs

Debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul fell after notching his half-century, but a gritty West Indies showed resolve against an accurate Australian attack on a pivotal day three of the first Test.

In response to Australia’s massive first innings of 598 for 4 declared, West Indies lost only Chanderpaul in the morning session as they continued their long haul back into the opening Test.

No. 3 Nkrumah Bonner retired hurt after being hit on the helmet from a Cameron Green bouncer, as captain Kraigg Brathwaite led their rearguard on an Optus Stadium pitch playing few tricks so far. But there is bounce and a few deliveries crept low in perhaps a foreshadow of what’s ahead.

After Australia’s quicks targeted a short length late on day two, which proved unsuccessful against the disciplined West Indies openers, they reverted to hitting fuller areas in a bid to challenge the forward defence.

There was much excitement over Chanderpaul, the son of legendary batter Shivnarine, after his gutsy and at times cavalier approach the previous evening to defy Australia’s aggressive bowling. Having survived a short ball barrage in a tough initiation, including being hit several times on the body, Chanderpaul hoped to continue his impressive debut Test innings.

Chanderpaul, who boasts similar grit and technical characteristics to his legendary father Shivnarine, reached his half-century when he edged quick Josh Hazlewood through the slips for a lucky boundary in a similar fashion to how he opened his Test account off his first delivery he faced.

But Chanderpaul was dismissed on the next ball after he edged a good length delivery to David Warner at second slip to end his impressive 79-ball knock.

Green, who in his home Test debut did not get a chance to bat in Australia’s first innings, entered the attack 30 minutes into the day’s play much to the delight of the smattering of fans in the grandstands.

He used his towering height to devastating effect with a searing short delivery hitting Bonner on the back of his helmet. After the mandatory medical checks and a change of helmet, he batted for a further 40 minutes before retiring hurt.

In trademark fashion, Brathwaite played stoutly in a rearguard until he broke the shackles with a six down the ground off spinner Nathan Lyon then reached his half-century shortly later.

As the sun emerged from overcast conditions in Perth, a small section of vocal fans on the boundary fence tried to whip up their own excitement amid the sedate proceedings.

Perhaps in an attempt to reignite the furore over former Australia coach Justin Langer’s recent inflammatory interview, they made the feelings clear as they held a ‘Justice For JL’ banner which was promptly confiscated by the ground’s security.

As they attempt to claw back into the contest, a dogged West Indies wouldn’t mind keeping things rather quiet on the pitch.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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