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Benn-inspired West Indies claim lead over Australia

Second Test, Adelaide, day three (close):
West Indies 451 & 23-0 v Australia 439
Match scorecard

Chris Gayle celebrates with Sulieman Benn
The Windies claimed all 10 Australia wickets for 265 on the third day

West Indies secured a first-innings lead after bowling Australia out for 439 and closed day three of the second Test in Adelaide 35 runs ahead at 23-0.

Australia resumed on 174-0 but Shane Watson was bowled off the second ball of the day without adding to his 96 and remains without a Test match century.

Simon Katich also fell swiftly for 80, left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn claiming both wickets in his career-best 5-155.

Michael Clarke struck 71 but Australia conceded a first-innings lead of 12.

Windies openers Chris Gayle and Adrian Barath swiftly added to that advantage and hit two fours apiece in the four overs possible before the close.

An enthralling day began with Watson trying to reach the elusive maiden century with a boundary but playing over the top with an attempted pull at Benn's quicker one and seeing his middle stump knocked back.


Ricky Ponting cut his first ball for four but soon miscued a pull at promising 21-year-old Barbadian fast bowler Kemar Roach and spooned to mid-wicket.

Clarke was given not out after a Roach lbw appeal when six, a decision upheld after referral, and batted calmly, if slowly, during a 79-run stand in 25 overs with Mike Hussey.

That was ended by the persevering Roach, who angled one across the left-hander and induced the edge to the keeper.

Australia, who won the first Test in Brisbane by an innings and 65 runs, reached tea with only four wickets down but lost Marcus North caught off bat and pad in third over of the final session and then Clarke, who got a thick edge to slip.

Brad Haddin hit some lusty blows, reaching his fourth Test fifty with a six over mid-wicket off Benn, but called Doug Bollinger for a second and Benn's throw to Roach saw the number 11 short of his ground.

Successive Gayle boundaries on either side of the wicket in the first over of the Windies innings suggested that another entertaining day is in prospect on Monday.

Australia batsman Hussey admitted it was a tough challenge facing the 6ft 7" 28-year-old, who bowled 53 overs in the innings.

If you are going to get a pitch that is going to assist you I think you should make full use of it

Sulieman Benn

"It's probably the most unique sort of spinner I've faced in my career really, he does use bounce very, very well obviously with his height," Hussey said.

"I think he's pretty wily with his changes of length and changes of pace as well. Certainly the more you get to face him the more comfortable you feel with it.

"I thought he bowled outstandingly well and he bowled 50 overs which is a huge effort and I think he stuck to his disciplines pretty well throughout that whole 50 overs."

"He was still landing that ball pretty consistently and he was difficult to get away, that's for sure."

Given the West Indian history of giant fast bowlers, many people assumed Benn would be another paceman but he said: "I never thought about bowling fast, I never had a passion for it, when I started bowling spin I liked it and continued.

"I got tall when I was 14 years old, obviously then you have a crossroads where you want to know what you're supposed to do after that but as I said I had no passion to be a fast bowler."

Reflecting on his success at Adelaide he said: "It's always nice to know you've got some assistance in the pitch, obviously pitches around the world are really flat now. If you are going to get a pitch that is going to assist you I think you should make full use of it.

"I tend to get the ball to bounce on most tracks but obviously because of my height a little spin in the pitch is a bonus for me."

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see also
Final wicket stand boosts Windies
05 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Bravo century revives West Indies
04 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Paceman Lee has surgery on elbow
03 Dec 09 |  Australia
Australia destroy woeful Windies
28 Nov 09 |  Cricket
West Indies in Australia 2009-10
08 Dec 09 |  Future tour dates

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