Smith revives WI President's XI
CAVE HILL, Barbados (CMC):
Dwayne Smith hit a typically attractive half-century and shared a century partnership with Jason Holder that propped up the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President's XI batting in the first-class tour match against Australia yesterday.
Smith led the way with 62, Holder supported with 49 and Kieran Powell made 42, as the President's XI, choosing to bat, were dismissed for 201 in their first innings about 45 minutes after tea on the opening day at the Three Ws Oval.
Smith and Holder put on 103 for the seventh wicket to revive the President's XI, after they slumped to 78 for six in the first hour after lunch. But the President's XI batting was undermined by Ryan Harris with four wickets for 23 runs from 13 overs and left-arm spinner Michael Beer with four for 41 from 8.2 overs.
With 19 overs available to them before the close, the President's XI made some headway, as Australia were 81 for two when stumps were drawn with their captain Michael Clarke not out on 11 and Ricky Ponting not out on eight.
Off-spinner Ryan Austin, playing in very familiar conditions, made the breakthrough for the President's XI, when he had Ed Cowan caught at short cover for 12 looking to play into the leg side, following an opening stand of 42.
The President's XI fast bowlers were wayward and Watson, in particular, cashed in, stroking eight fours in 42 before he played back and across to a delivery from Nelon Pascal and was lbw just before the close.
Earlier, Powell and fellow opener Devon Smith plodded away diligently, giving West Indies a solid, if not spectacular start. Smith was lbw for seven playing back across to Beer in the final half-hour before the interval, as the President's XI limped to 58 for one at lunch.
The President's XI wobbled after the interval, when Harris grabbed three wickets, triggering a middle-order batting collapse. Powell was bowled when he dragged a delivery from the Australia fast-medium bowler into his stumps in the second over after lunch. He collected five fours from 104 balls in 125 minutes.