Symonds sets up exciting final day
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

REUTERS, KINGSTON--Andrew Symonds subdued his normal attacking instincts with a patient 79 to help Australia reach 167 all out in their second innings on the fourth day of the first test against West Indies on Sunday.

At the close West Indies, set 287 to win, were 46 for one after Brenton Parchment was caught behind by Brad Haddin off the bowling of Stuart Clark for 15.

Australia will fancy their chances against a West Indies batting line-up not noted for resilience under pressure but the home side are in determined mood and a fascinating final day is in prospect.

Symonds helped Australia recover from 18 for five supported by Brad Hodge (27) and Haddin (23) against some fine pace bowling.

Dwayne Bravo ended with four wickets while opening bowlers Fidel Edwards and Daren Powell took three apiece in an excellent performance from the three seamers.

Australia, who resumed at 17 for four in their second innings quickly lost nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson, caught behind for four off Powell. The score of 18 for five was their worst position after five wickets in a test since 1936.

Hodge came out to join Symonds and the pair regained control with sensible batting against aggressive bowling, adding 52 before Hodge departed for 27 after wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin took a superb one-handed diving catch off Bravo.

All-rounder Symonds showed impressive restraint, although he allowed himself greater liberty after lunch with three sixes, taking the attack to off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth.

Haddin had given steady assistance to Symonds after lunch and their partnership of 74 was the best in the Australian second innings. It came to an end when Haddin powered a drive at Runako Morton who produced a brilliant catch at short extra-cover off Bravo.

Brett Lee then faced some hostile bowling from Edwards. The Australian had hit Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the head on Saturday and continued to bowl short at the West Indies batsman after he had received medical treatment.

Edwards peppered Lee with short deliveries, hitting him on the glove and the elbow guard and in his next over he tempted him into a wide drive which was edged to Ramdin.

Symonds finally holed out to Darren Sammy off Bravo who then dismissed last man Stuart MacGill for a duck to end the Australian innings.

West Indies will be relieved to have survived the shortened final session with only wicket down and everything to play for on Monday.

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