Kavem Hodge and Joshua Da Silva put on 149 runs for the sixth wicket to lead a West Indies fightback against Australia on the first day of the second Test on Thursday as the visitors reached 266-8 at stumps. Hodge and wicketkeeper Da Silva were together at the start of the second session with the West Indies in huge trouble at 64-5. The pair dug in and batted for over a session and a half before Da Silva was finally dismissed for 79, trapped lbw by off-spinner Nathan Lyon with the score on 213.
Hodge, playing only his second Test, then fell to the second new ball 12 runs later when he edged Mitchell Starc (4-68) to Steve Smith at second slip for an impressive 71.
Debutant Kevin Sinclair was not out 16 at the close, with Alzarri Joseph dismissed for an entertaining 32 off 22 balls from the last ball of the day.
Hodge and Da Silva mixed resolute defence with some exciting shot-making throughout their partnership to give their side some hope after a disappointing start to the innings.
“It was a pretty crucial partnership between Hodgie and myself,” Da Silva said.
“I would have liked to have finished the day a bit better, maybe one of us getting a hundred, but it wasn’t to be.
“Nobody would have expected at 64-5 when I came in that we’d get 266, that’s 200-plus runs for three wickets for the rest of the day, so I’m pretty happy.”
Starc said when the pink ball started to go soft after the 11th over, bowling became much more difficult.
“We started nicely with the new ball but it started to do a lot less in the middle session and they (Da Silva and Hodge) applied themselves really well,” he said.
“Then we got a couple of late wickets, so it was a really even day.” ~CHECK~
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first on a hot day under clear skies, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite would have been hoping to get the visitors off to a good start at the top of the order.
– Starc sets new milestone –
However, he looked unsettled and fell for four in the eighth over when he played at a Josh Hazlewood delivery outside off stump and got an edge to keeper Alex Carey.
Fellow opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul had looked more comfortable at the other end and he and an aggressive Kirk McKenzie started to move the score along.
But McKenzie, who scored 21 from 25 balls, tried one big shot too many and got a thick edge off Pat Cummins to first slip, where Usman Khawaja took a sharp chance high to his right.
Chanderpaul (21) was next to go when he edged Starc to Smith at second slip to leave the West Indies struggling at 54-3.
That was soon 57-3 when Alick Athanaze became Starc’s 350th Test wicket, caught behind by Carey for eight.
Khawaja got his second catch when Greaves edged Starc to first slip with the dinner break just four balls away.
But the second session belonged to the West Indies, with Hodge and Da Silva resolute in the face of the Australian attack.
The two took the West Indies almost to the second new ball, but once Da Silva fell the batting became more difficult under the lights.
When Hodge fell there was some chance the West Indies could have collapsed once again. However, Sinclair batted sensibly and Joseph swung his bat freely before edging Hazlewood to give Smith his third catch at second slip.
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