Aus build 365-run lead against WI

Phil Jaques and Simon Katich hit centuries as Australia built a commanding position against West Indies three days into the final Test on Saturday.

updated: June 22, 2008 17:25 IST
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Openers Phil Jaques and Simon Katich hit assured centuries as Australia built a commanding position against West Indies three days into the final Test on Saturday.

Jaques, who notched 108, and Katich, with a career-best unbeaten 148, spurred Australia to 330 for three at the close, an overall advantage of 365.

Australia, already 1-0 up in the three-Test series, has a chance to win its first series in the Caribbean since 1994-95.

Jaques' third Test hundred spanned five hours and 224 balls and included 10 fours.

Katich struck 13 fours in nearly eight hours off 324 deliveries in compiling his fourth ton at this level.

The New South Wales left-handers launched Australia from 35 without loss overnight to 223 before they were separated at Kensington Oval a half hour before tea.

"It was a really good day for the boys in general," Jaques said. "It was good that me and Kato put on a couple of hundred at the start.

"The game is well and truly set up for us now. Hopefully, we can build on it tomorrow and move on from there."

Katich set the tone for the morning when he greeted Daren Powell with two driven boundaries in the first over.

West Indies had a chance to split the pair soon afterwards but Jerome Taylor missed the stumps from midoff trying to run out Katich.

Katich's driving through the off side was superb and he brought up his half century first, off 107 balls, with six fours.

The introduction of Sulieman Benn, the tall left-arm spinner, brought a few anxious moments for the batsmen but the pair soon blossomed.

Jaques, in particular, was more aggressive once he passed 50 off 124 balls.

He hit Benn for lofted boundaries off three successive overs and overtook Katich just before Australia took lunch at 163 without loss.

Jaques powered to his century after the break, cracking Benn for two fours in one over to reach the landmark.

Fidel Edwards (one for 52) finally broke the partnership when Jaques chased a wide ball and edged to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

Katich was then on 99 and soon notched his second hundred in successive matches, off 216 balls.

Captain Ricky Ponting contributed 39, taking his career aggregate to 10,099 and one run ahead of India's Rahul Dravid for sixth on the all-time runscorers list.

Ponting, dropped at midoff by Edwards off the luckless Benn when on 18, eventually pulled a low catch to midwicket off Powell (one for 40).

Michael Hussey's lean series continued as Benn (one for 107) was finally rewarded for his perseverance.

The left-hander scored 18 before he deflected a catch to Dwayne Bravo at backward short leg just before the close.

Katich and Michael Clarke (0) survived until stumps.

West Indies suffered an injury blow early in the second session when Sewnarine Chattergoon severely strained his left ankle when sliding to save a boundary. The opening batsman is unlikely be fully fit for West Indies' second innings.