West Indies 149 Australia 256-1: Hussey and Hayden turn screw

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The Independent Online

Australia continued to pulverise the hapless West Indies on a weather-delayed second day of the second Test in Hobart yesterday.

In the 47 overs possible before play was called half an hour early in the gloom, the left-handed openers Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey made untroubled hundreds in a partnership of 231. Hayden's 110 was his 24th in his 75th Test, and his fourth in successive matches dating back to the Oval in September.

Hussey, the stand-in for Justin Langer, batted through to the end for 116, his first hundred in his second match, with Australia 256 for 1. His main scoring shots were 18 fours. His first-class record includes three triples. He would have envisaged something similar overnight against bland bowling and demoralised opponents on an easy-paced pitch.

Corey Collymore, the persistent fast-medium seamer who was again the West Indies' only standout bowler, dismissed Hayden for 110 to a catch at mid-wicket. By then, Australia were ahead by 82.

Only once since the West Indies' first Test in 1928 has the opposition taken a first-innings lead without the loss of a wicket, but never by so many. The previous occasion also involved Hayden who, with Michael Slater, responded to 82 all-out with a stand of 101 at Brisbane five years ago.

Hussey, out for 1 and 29 on his debut in Australia's win by 379 runs in the first Test in Brisbane, had a nervous start on the previous day, when he might have been caught off an edge to Fidel Edwards by the wrong-footed wicketkeeper at 3. But he and Hayden had 60 in the bank once play began and they found the bowling amenable.

Collymore started with five consecutive maidens. Edwards ran in with purpose but, like the others, he was expensive as Hayden, who had a six and 10 fours off his 169 balls, and Hussey, with 18 fours from 197 balls, took toll of anything loose.

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