Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lee blows Windies tail away to give Aussies big lead

Brett Lee ripped out the bottom half of the West Indies' batting with a remarkable spell of fast bowling to hand Australia a 127-run, first innings lead in the second Test on Monday.

Lee captured five wickets for 59 runs from 21 overs, as West Indies, replying to Australia's first innings total of 479 for seven declared, were dismissed for 352 about 10 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval on the fourth day at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

It was the ninth time in a Test that Lee had taken five wickets or more in an innings, and sent West Indies crashing from the comfort of 314 for four to transform the complexion of the match.

Lee triggered a collapse which saw West Indies lose their last six wickets for 38 runs in the space of 68 balls.

His bowling completely overshadowed another epic Test hundred from long-standing West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, whose undefeated 107 was his 19th Test hundred and second in successive matches.

Chanderpaul reached his milestone, when he slog/swept Andrew Symonds for the 11th of his 12 boundaries from 236 balls in almost six hours of batting.

Australia had been kept at bay for close to an hour-and-a-half by Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo in a stand of 132 for the fifth wicket before Lee made his presence felt with five wickets for five runs in the space of 18 balls.

The Aussie fast bowler started the rout, when he had Bravo dubiously caught down the leg-side for 45, although television replays suggested umpire Russell Tiffin may have erred with his verdict as the ball appeared to have ricocheted from the batsman's thigh pad.

This dismissal seemed to have energised Lee getting a ball more than 90 overs old to reverse swing on a hard, docile pitch in hot, sunny conditions.

Next delivery, Lee gained another dubious decision from Tiffin to have Denesh Ramdin adjudged lbw for a first-ball duck to a delivery which moved back from outside the off-stump, but which TV replays suggested its flight path was hardly threatening.

In his next over, Lee also gained another marginal lbw decision from Tiffin to send Darren Sammy back for a second-ball duck.

Lee then shutdown a late flourish of 20 from Jerome Taylor which included two fours and a six from 26 balls, when he bowled the West Indies fast bowler, and completed his landmark, when he gained a third, but palpable lbw verdict to dismiss Daren Powell for a two-ball duck.

Mitchell Johnson swiftly ended the West Indies' innings, when he had Fidel Edwards caught behind for a 10-ball duck in the next over.

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