Marshall gives Windies hope as Aussies get sloppy

Xavier Marshall rode his luck to hit 85 as West Indies benefited from some sloppy Australia fielding to keep its faint hopes alive in the final Test.

updated: June 22, 2008 17:25 IST
  • Total Shares


Xavier Marshall rode his luck to hit 85 as West Indies benefited from some sloppy Australia fielding to keep its faint hopes alive in the third and final cricket Test.

West Indies, set an improbable 475 for victory over five sessions, closed the fourth day at 235 for three, still trailing by 239.

Australia, leading the three-match series 1-0, is still favored to complete the victory on Monday's fifth and final day at Kensington Oval.

Marshall benefited from three missed chances to lash 12 fours and a six off 146 balls in his highest first-class score.

The 22-year-old, in his fourth Test, added 95 for the second wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan, who compiled 43.

In-form Shivnarine Chanderpaul (27 not out) and allrounder Dwayne Bravo (30 not out) also defied the visitors towards the end in an unbroken stand of 54.

Stuart Clark (one for 29), Beau Casson (one for 58) and Michael Clarke (one for 25) led the attack for Australia.

Earlier, Australia moved its second innings from 330 for three overnight to declare at 439 for five at lunch.

Simon Katich, resuming on 148, was dismissed early for 157 and Andrew Symonds fell for 2 as left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn got deserved reward.

But Michael Clarke (48 not out) and Brad Haddin (46 not out) added 79 unbroken before the declaration at lunch.

Clarke lashed six boundaries off 107 balls while Haddin cracked five fours ad a six off 83 deliveries. Benn took three for 154 off 47 overs.

Australia should have struck early in West Indies' second innings but pace bowler Brett Lee's luck deserted him as both openers were dropped.

Marshall was just 1 when he deflected a catch to third slip where Katich floored his fourth catch of the series.

Chris Gayle also benefited from Australia's wastefulness as Casson grassed an easy catch at mid-off off Lee with the West Indies captain on 8.

Marshall's second chance, on 22, was more difficult as wicketkeeper Haddin just failed to hold on to an edge off Stuart Clark. Gayle also should have been run out after a mix up with Marshall but Lee's return missed the stumps with Gayle stranded.

The visitors eventually made the breakthrough at 64 for one when Gayle miscued a pull at Clark and Lee gleefully grabbed the easy catch at mid-on. Gayle never looked settled in scoring 26 off 45 balls with four boundaries.

Marshall got his third life just after tea when his edge off Mitchell Johnson flew between Ricky Ponting and Clarke in the slips. That seventh boundary for Marshall took him to 50 off 89 balls.

Sarwan was closing in on a half century of his own when he was plumb leg before to Clarke's left-arm spin. The West Indies vice-captain hit six fours among 57 balls.

Marshall seemed on course for a maiden century when left-arm wrist spinner Casson claimed him to a brilliant, diving short leg catch by Phil Jaques at 181 for three.

Lee returned late in the day to produce a fiery spell to Bravo and should have earned his wicket.

Bravo was at 17 when he appeared to glove a searing bouncer to the wicketkeeper but umpire Mark Benson ruled not out. Bravo also just survived a confident leg before appeal against Lee as the pacer was left wicketless. At the other end, Chanderpaul was unfazed in getting to the close unbeaten.