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West Indies put up a brave fight despite losing six wickets at the SCG

403   //    03 Jan 2016, 13:32 IST
Kraigg Brathwaite was the knight in shining armour on day 1

The start to the new year has been encouraging to say the least for the West Indies as on day 1 of the 3rd Test of the Frank Worrell Trophy 2015-16, their batsmen, led by Kraigg Brathwaite’s half-century, put up spirited efforts to guide their side to 207/6 on a rain-affected day.

The visitors won the toss at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and chose to bat first in overcast conditions. Shai Hope, who got his first game of the series, coming in for Rajendra Chandrika couldn't make the most of it as he was dismissed in the 5th over by Josh Hazelwood.

That early in-road, however, was the only one that the Aussies could make in the first session as some disciplined batting by their two best batsmen of the series, Darren Bravo and Brathwaite took their side to lunch without further damage at 92/1.

They added 12 more runs to the total in the second session, before their 91-run 2nd wicket stand was ended by James Pattinson who got Bravo caught by Usman Khawaja. Marlon Samuels followed soon after, and Jermaine Blackwood was bowled by Nathan Lyon to bring Australia back into the game by reducing the West Indies to 131/4.

Rain played spoilsport, however, twice in the game, as in the 42nd over it caused an early Tea break and then again in the 57th over it broke the rhythm of the West Indian batsmen, as within four overs of the second interruption, both Brathwaite and captain Jason Holder departed to leave the Caribbeans in a spot of bother at 159/6.

The dismissal fo Brathwaite by Lyon was also the offspinner's 100th Test scalp on Australian soil, a feat only matched by 4 other men. The fidgety state after this wicket was compensated to some extent by Carlos Brathwaite, who played a whirlwind cameo of 35 off as many balls with 4 fours and 2 gigantic sixes at the expense of the Steve O’Keefe.

He, along with the wicket-keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin saw off the day thereafter with the score being 207/6 off 75 overs. The spotlight of the day belonged to Kraigg Brathwaite who displayed an extraordinary amount of patience for his 174-ball 85, hitting 10 boundaries in the process.

At Tea, the touring side was decently placed at 115/3, but Lyon brought them back in the game with his two wickets helped by a brilliant catch by Jow Burns off O’Keefe.

The overnight batsmen would look to drag the score past 300 on day 2, with Brathwaite, in particular, trying to take the attack to the opposition as he did during the final moments of day 1.

Brief Scores: West Indies (toss) 207/6 (K Brathwaite 85, C Brathwaite 35, Lyon 2/68, Hazelwood 1/65) at stumps on day 1.

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