Unhappy day for West Indies

 

AUSTRALIA'S batsmen dominated a weak West Indies bowling attack on the second day of their fourth Test, creating a strong lead that virtually assures at least a draw. They were 434 for five at the close of play, a lead of 304.

A draw or a win, which is possible given the West Indies' brittle batting of late, would guarantee Australia retain the series which they currently lead 2-1.

Left-hander Matthew Hayden's maiden Test century was the main feature of an entertaining day in front of a crowd of 20,000 at Adelaide Oval. In his fifth Test innings, he cut decisively backwards of point off fast bowler Cameron Cuffy to bring up the ton in 267 minutes from 179 balls with 14 fours.

His innings of 125 was not without incident. It included three dropped catches and a catch off a no-ball. Those let-offs were just the beginning of an unhappy spell of four dropped catches, a missed stumping and three wickets off no balls that plagued the West Indies' fielding effort.

Wicket keeper Junior Murray had a horror day, diving across in front of Brian Lara at first slip and dropping Hayden in the morning when he was on 82. But the ultimate humiliation came late in the day when Courtney Walsh dropped an easy skied hook from Greg Blewett when he was on 5-1. Blewett went to 91 not out at stumps.