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The West Indies have their sights set on increasing their lead, even with Cummins' impressive batting performance.
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The West Indies have their sights set on increasing their lead, even with Cummins’ impressive batting performance.

Pat Cummins’ bold declaration has set the stage for an evenly matched third day of the second Test in Brisbane between West Indies and Australia. After three intense sessions of back-and-forth, West Indies is currently leading by 35 runs.

Usman Khawaja, Australia’s opening batsman, scored 75 runs and was a solid presence for his team against a fierce pace attack from the visiting team.

He played a crucial role in two partnerships with the energetic Alex Carey (65 runs off 49 balls) and bold Cummins (64 not out off 73 balls), achieving his highest Test score. This helped Australia bounce back from a difficult start of 5-54 and declare at 9-289, following the dismissal of West Indies for 311.

Cummins requested a review after the final ball before the end of the day’s play. As a result, Tagenarine Chanderpaul was declared out for four runs, and the West Indies team ended the day with a score of 13.

Australia’s top order was stunned by West Indies’ opening bowlers Kemar Roach (3-47) and Alzarri Joseph (4-84) in the previous match.

Kevin Sinclair of the West Indies celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja.View image in fullscreen

Steve Smith, wearing the number six, was unsuccessful as an opening batsman once again when Roach got him out lbw in the very first over. Joseph managed to get a hesitant Marnus Labuschagne out with a spectacular catch by Kevin Sinclair at fourth slip. Roach then proceeded to dismiss Cameron Green for eight runs and Travis Head for a golden duck in consecutive deliveries.

In the year 2023, Khawaja was named the ICC Test cricketer and his performance was exceptional, making it seem like he was playing on a completely different field compared to his fellow teammates. His contributions of 96 runs with Carey and 81 runs with Cummins, who was also named the ICC cricketer of the year, played a crucial role in Australia’s comeback.

Sinclair, the offspinner for West Indies, performed a celebratory backflip somersault after taking his first wicket in Test cricket. Prior to this, the debutant had also scored a crucial 50 runs, helping his team achieve a respectable total.

Carey was fortunate to have a successful play with his bat after receiving a stroke of luck. When Australia was at a score of 5-72, their wicketkeeper was at eight and a powerful pitch from Shamar Joseph knocked off the off stump bail.

It turned within its slot, but did not come loose, and Carey miraculously survived.

After that point, he excelled with a variety of cover drives and reverse sweeps.

On Friday, the visitors started at a score of 8-266 and Sinclair, along with veteran Roach (eight), contributed 31 runs for the ninth wicket.

Sinclair, who is currently 24 years old, has achieved nine half-centuries in first-class matches, with his highest score being 86.

The West Indies team showed resilience in bouncing back from a score of 5-64, ultimately setting a challenging target for Australia.

On the first day, batsman Kavem Hodge (71) and wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva (79) stood out, while left-handed bowler Mitchell Starc (4-82) performed the best among the Australian bowlers.

Source: theguardian.com