1st Test, Day 3: Australia extend lead to 344 runs, maintain pressure over West Indies

Australia maintained the pressure over West Indies by extending their lead to 344 runs on the third day of the first Test at Perth Stadium, here on Friday.

Australia were 29/1 at stumps on Day 3 with David Warner (17), and Marnus Labuschagne (3) unbeaten at the crease after bowling out West Indies for 283 in their first innings, taking a 315-run lead.

Beginning the day, Tagenarine Chanderpaul got to his maiden fifty but his joy was short-lived as Josh Hazlewood dismissed him in the opening over.

The Aussie pacers continued to pose questions to Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner but they survived and kept the scoreboard moving. Against pacers, Brathwaite took full advantage of the loose deliveries, while he charged down the track to Nathan Lyon to bring up his fifty.

However, the hosts made a stunning comeback in the second session by picking up three key crucial wickets. Brathwaite was clean bowled by Pat Cummins while Kyle Mayers inside-edged Mitchell Starc onto his stumps to fall for just 1. All-rounder Jason Holder put up a fight before getting out to Lyon for 27.

Shamarh Brooks, who came in as a concussion substitute for Bonner, showcased some resistance alongside Jermaine Blackwood. But once Australia decided to take the new ball after 80 overs, Starc made inroads to dent the visitors’ hopes. Blackwood was trapped leg before wicket and Joshua Da Silva was castled for a three-ball duck.

While Cameron Green got rid of Brooks for 33, Cummins and Lyon dismissed lower-order batters to bowl the West Indies out for just 283.

With a lead of 315, Australia didn’t enforce the follow-on and instead decided to bat. Kemar Roach removed Usman Khawaja early but Warner and Labuschagne negotiated the tricky little period to take the lead to 344.

Brief scores: Australia 598/4d & 29/1 (David Warner 17 not out; Kemar Roach 1-16) lead West Indies 283 (Kraigg Brathwaite 64, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 51; Pat Cummins 3-34, Mitchell Starc 3-51) by 344 runs

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