Bravo puts Windies on top
West Indies snatched the initiative on the first day of the final Test as Dwayne Bravo took 3-48 to reduce Australia to 226-7.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 15/06/08 10:25am
Third Test Match
Australia 226-7 (A Symonds 52) v West Indies
West Indies snatched the initiative on the first day of the final Test as Dwayne Bravo took 3-48 to reduce Australia to 226-7 at stumps at Bridgetown.
Only a resilient 52 from Andrew Symonds prevented the hosts from taking complete control, however the powerful all-rounder was dismissed shortly before the elements struck to cap a miserable day for Ricky Ponting's men.
After losing the toss, Australia were inserted as returning skipper Chris Gayle looked to his bowlers in the hope that they would make the most of the overcast conditions and a bouncy pitch at the Kensington Oval.
Newly-formulated opening pairing Phil Jaques and Simon Katich quickly set about negotiating the swinging new ball, and the left-hand duo looked as if they would survive until lunch before Jerome Taylor hit top gear.
The Jamaican seamer got the much-needed breakthrough just before drinks as he lured Jaques into a false pull-shot and the ball flew straight up into the air before being snaffled by the sprinting Denesh Ramdin.
With Jaques back in the hutch for 31, Ponting arrived at the crease looking to build on his fine start to his side's successful Frank Worrell Trophy defence.
However, after making just 18 the classy right-hander came unstuck as Taylor picked up his second wicket with a full delivery which crashed into the Tasmanian's pads.
Mike Hussey was the next Aussie to perish as his poor form continued - a loose pull-shot off the bowling of Bravo proved his downfall as Daren Powell swooped from fine leg to take a well-judged catch.
Fresh from a sparkling 110 in Antigua, Michael Clarke joined Katich at the crease with the tourists floundering at 96-3.
But the Australia vice-captain lasted just three balls as Bravo picked up his second wicket of the over with a beautiful delivery which found an edge through to Ramdin.
Lunch came as a welcome reprieve for Australia, however when play resumed another wicket soon fell.
Katich undid all of his earlier hard work as an inspirational change of bowling from Gayle saw Fidel Edwards reintroduced into the attack.
Another miscued pull-shot proved an Australian's undoing, and another superb catch, this time from Gayle saw the opener sent on his way for 36.
After being dropped by Xavier Marshall on seven, Symonds cashed in with gloveman Brad Haddin as Australia moved towards 200.
However, shortly before tea the hosts struck again. Haddin was this time guilty of playing across the line, and Sulieman Benn got the ball past his defences and into his pads for the easiest of LBW decisions.
After a flurry of brutal boundaries, Symonds was guilty of playing one shot too many shortly before the rain descended.
This time there was no let-off for the 33-year-old as Sewnarine Chattergoon held on in the covers to give Bravo his third wicket of the day.
Debutant Beau Casson (6no) and Brett Lee (7no) will return to the crease on day two looking to boost the tourists' score towards 300.