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Smith century helps Australia wrest control

Visiting side recovers from 16 for 2 to post 258 for 4 on opening day of second Test against West Indies

Smith century helps Australia wrest control - Cricket News
The Australia vice-captain ended the day on 135 off 278 balls.
Steve Smith settled in nicely at the No. 3 slot, carving his ninth Test century to steer Australia to 258 for 4 at stumps on the first day of the second and final Test against West Indies at Sabina Park on Thursday (June 11).

Heading into a must-win match after a three-day loss in the first Test in Dominica, Jerome Taylor justified Denesh Ramdin's decision to bowl first, sending back the openers inside the first five overs, but the rest of the bowlers failed to capitalise on the promising start.

It was Smith who led Australia's resistance, spending 357 minutes at the crease for his 135, a largely chance-less innings with the exception of a missed chance off Kraigg Braithwaite half-way through the day's last session - a catch that Darren Bravo failed to hold on to in the slips. 

It was also on the same score that an lbw decision against the Australia vice-captain was over-turned by the TV umpires, earning him another reprieve. The batsman ended the day with 16 fours and two sixes off the 278 deliveries he faced.

For West Indies, it was Taylor who really stood out, ending the day with 3 for 18 off 15 overs, sending back David Warner for a duck, and Shaun Marsh for 11 shortly after, leaving Australia in a spot of bother at 16 for 2 at the start of the day. 

It could well have been 22 for 3 when Michael Clarke, on 3, was caught by Kemar Roach off his own bowling. It was television technology that again came to Australia's defence, replays showing that Roach had over-stepped, granting Clarke a life.

The Australia captain went on to score a fluid 47 off 107 balls, striking four fours and two sixes along the way, finally ending the 118-run third-wicket partnership when he was caught by Ramdin off Jason Holder.

Clarke's wicket was the only bright spot in the afternoon session for the home side, as Adam Voges - coming off of an unbeaten 130 on debut at Windsor park a week earlier - played perfect foil to Smith's dogged innings, adding 76 runs for the fourth wicket.

With injuries leaving both Shannon Gabriel and Devendra Bishoo out of the playing eleven, and Roach and Veerasammy Permaul failing to dent Australia's innings, it was Taylor again who had to bring about the breakthrough, Voges departing on 37 after being caught behind.

Shane Watson, coming in soon after, helped put on 48 for the fifth wicket with Smith, helping Australia end the day on a strong note.

To see the full scorecard, click here.

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