Cricket: Australia take charge: Arthurton and Lara stave off humiliation but West Indies face uphill struggle

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The Independent Online
THE new generation of West Indian batsmen, three left-handers with only 14 Tests between them, desperately tried to compensate for the failure of their seniors on the third day of the second Test here yesterday. But they could not significantly alter the course of a match which remained firmly in Australia's grip.

Brian Lara, in his fourth Test, and Keith Arthurton, in his eighth, shared their second century partnership in successive Tests and batted with enough freedom to raise their team's hopes of a substantial revival. When neither could proceed to three figures, Jimmy Adams, in his second Test, kept the fight going for more than two hours before Craig McDermott dispatched the last four wickets in seven overs for 17 runs.

When Adams was last out Australia had a lead of 162 and the West Indies knew that they would need to bat through at least the final day on a wearing pitch of increasingly variable bounce to avoid defeat. They have not been behind in a series against Australia since 1981-82. Their confidence would not have been encouraged by the sight of Phil Simmons' medium- paced delivery shooting under David Boon's bat to hit near the base of the off and middle stumps when Australia batted again.

The West Indies had been seriously undermined the previous afternoon when they lost the top three in their order, including Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson in Merv Hughes' first five overs.

The spirited fightback of Lara and Arthurton was further disturbed by another aggravating failure by their third most experienced batsman, Carl Hooper. He was caught and bowled by Steve Waugh off an appallingly loose stroke minutes before lunch.

Allan Border started the day with his young leg-spinner Shane Warne and kept him going for 11 overs. But he seldom beat the bat, was hoisted for a straight six by Arthurton, who also pulled and cut him for fours, and it took a double bowling change to set the West Indies back.

Mike Whitney won an lbw verdict against Lara with his second ball and Steve Waugh dived forward on his follow-through to catch Hooper's uncontrolled drive in the last over before lunch.

The two wickets within three overs put Australia firmly in command and Arthurton had to start all over again with Adams. They stayed together for an hour and a quarter, adding 48 without much bother, when another bowling change brought McDermott back and finally scuttled the West Indians.

With successive balls in his second over, his 18th in all, McDermott dismissed Arthurton and David Williams and he then bowled Ian Bishop with an unplayable leg cutter. He was again in the act after tea, catching Curtly Ambrose at midwicket to provide Warne with his only wicket and then had Adams neatly taken at short leg to complete the innings.

Arthurton's chanceless innings was further proof of his enormous development on this tour. He is a muscular, square-shouldered individual with a reputation on arrival in Australia as a ball-beater with a loose technique.

Here he has been watchful without being over-cautious and selective in his strokes without forgetting them altogether. He had been going for four hours and 10 minutes when he played defensively at one that left him and snicked a catch to the keeper. He had not lapsed in concentration once and a similarly dogged attitude will be required of him and the other batsmen come Wednesday.

Donald destroys India, page 23

(Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 395 (M E Waugh 112, *A R Border 110).

WEST INDIES - First Innings

(Overnight: 62 for 3)

B C Lara lbw b Whitney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

K L T Arthurton c Healy b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71

C L Hooper c and b S Waugh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

J C Adams c Boon b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

D Williams c Healy b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

I R Bishop b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

C E L Ambrose c McDermott b Warne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

C A Walsh not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Extras (lb10 nb6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233

Fall (cont): 1-11 2-28 3-33 4-139 5-144 6-192 7-192 8-206 9-233.

Bowling: McDermott 25.1-8-66-4; Hughes 19-5- 51-3; Whitney 13-4-27-1; S Warne 24-7-65-1; Waugh 4-1-14-1.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

D C Boon b Simmons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

M A Taylor not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

S K Warne not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Extras (b1 lb3 nb1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Total (for 1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

To bat: S Waugh, M Waugh, *A Border, C McDermott, I Healy, M Hughes, G Matthews, D Martyn.

Fall: 1-22.

Bowling: Ambrose 6-3-7-0; Bishop 6-2-8-0; Walsh 6-3-5-0; Simmons 6-5-2-1.

Umpires: S Randall and C Timmins.

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