Australia 598 for 4 Dec and 29 for a lead of 1 West Indies 283 (Brathwaite 64, Chandrapal 51, Cummins 3-34, Starc 3-51) from 344 runs
The wickets came in a hurry as Australia toiled against a determined West Indies batting at a level that was expected to lack venom. With Cummins prioritizing rest for his bowlers, Australia faced 11 overs before stumps but lost opener Usman Khawaja who was caught behind Kamer Roach.
Inspired by England’s ballistic batting against Pakistan in the simultaneous Test in Rawalpindi, opener David Warner opened with back-to-back boundaries amid the long shadows of the towering pitches.
It was an indication of what should happen early in the fourth day as Australia look for quick runs ahead of a possible declaration. Warner, however, will want to capitalize on this after continuing a lean patch in Test cricket after a first-innings failure.
Cummins led a balanced attack with shared wickets around the frontline bowlers. After the short-ball strategy proved fruitless at the end of the second day, Australia’s fast bowlers tried to hit better lengths with success.
Cummins claimed two more with the second new ball after tea as the West Indies’ opposition collapsed. Starc suffered early when he got Jermaine Blackwood lbw with a full delivery, which was upheld on review on the umpire’s call. He then cleaned up Josh Da Silva with a trademark full delivery, as Starc began to swing dangerously.
Cummins had earlier summoned a great spell after lunch to prove there was any spice in the much-discussed surface of the green. He led the Australian attack that worked on a determined West Indies batting order with three wickets in the middle session.
He ended West Indies’ hopes of long-range batting in their tough task of scoring 598 for 4 in Australia’s first innings.
Going into the match, West Indies had set a batting target of at least 100 overs, which they almost achieved but it was not nearly enough after such selfless bowling and fielding efforts.
Chandrapal had brought up his half-century with a lucky boundary at slip a ball earlier, but Brathwaite continued to play a strong rearguard to frustrate Australia’s precision attack.
Braithwaite, however, could do little to thwart a gem from his opposite number as Cummins enjoyed another memorable performance.