Johnson, Lee guide Australia to first innings lead

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson took a career-best four for 41 on Friday to help guide Australia to a first-innings lead over the West Indies.

updated: June 17, 2008 12:23 IST
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Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson took a career-best four for 41 on Friday to help guide Australia to a first-innings lead over the West Indies on day two of the third and final cricket Test at Kensington Oval.

Brett Lee added three for 64 as the West Indies were bowled out for 216 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 251.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul compiled an unbeaten 79 but the West Indies lost its last six wickets for 48 runs to tilt the balance towards the visitors.

The tourists stretched their lead to 60 by close as openers Phil Jaques (13) and Simon Katich (17) added 35 unbroken in the final hour.

Johnson, who had endured a lean series before this match, offered his formula for changing his fortunes.

"I just tried to be as relaxed as possible when I was out there," Johnson said. "That's when I think I bowl my best, with a big smile on my face."

Australia, resuming on 226 for seven, added a further 25 runs as Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor ended the innings swiftly.

Edwards finished with three for 55 while Taylor took three for 46. Dwayne Bravo grabbed three for 61.

Lee, who finished 23 not out in the Australian innings, quickly made his mark with the new ball as he claimed openers Chris Gayle and Sewnarine Chattergoon.

Chattergoon edged a drive to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin while Gayle lofted to mid-off where debutant Beau Casson hauled in a diving catch.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Xavier Marshall briefly revived the innings from 26 for two, adding 38 for the third wicket.

But Sarwan, who hit two fours and a six in 20 off 23 balls, sliced a drive to gully off Stuart Clark at 64 for three.

Marshall survived a hostile Lee spell to play a number of strokes in a solid stand with Chanderpaul.

The 22-year-old Marshall, who hit six fours in 39, eventually chipped a catch to midwicket off the medium pace of Andrew Symonds.

But Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo took back the initiative for the West Indies, which went into the tea break at 167 for four.

After the interval, it was all Australia as Johnson triggered a collapse.

Bravo hit a six and three fours in 29 before he glanced a leg side catch to the wicketkeeper in the first over of Johnson's second spell.

The lower order folded swiftly after that with Chanderpaul left to survey the damage.

The 33-year-old left-hander reached his 50 just after losing Bravo and lashed Casson's wrist spin for three fours and a six in one over.

But his partners let him down as the Aussies took control.

Denesh Ramdin (1) steered Johnson low to fourth slip; Jerome Taylor (0) chipped Michael Clarke's spin to midwicket; and Sulieman Benn (3) edged Johnson to Haddin.

Haddin also accounted for Daren Powell off Lee and Johnson finished off the innings as Edwards snicked to first slip.

The Australians could even afford the luxury of two dropped catches by Katich at first slip.

Chanderpaul, already with two centuries in the series, took his average in the three Tests to 196 as he again ended not out. The left-hander hit 12 fours and a six off 142 balls in three hours, 45 minutes.

Jaques and Katich spent the last hour stretching the Australian lead.