Harris and Hilfenhaus turn the tide
Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus led a stunning Australia fightback on day four of the first Test against West Indies in Bridgetown.
The tourists, who began the penultimate day 201 runs in arrears on 248 for five, appeared set to concede a substantial first-innings lead when they slipped to 285 for eight in the morning session.
However, Harris then struck an unbeaten 68 - almost double his previous highest Test score of 35 - and received excellent support from fellow tailenders Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon, who struck 24 and 40 not out respectively before Michael Clarke declared 43 behind on 406 for nine.
Hilfenhaus then picked up three wickets in as many overs as the Windies crumbled to four for three in their second innings. They staged a partial recovery thereafter to reach stumps on 71 for five, leading by 114.
Australia suffered a double blow at the start of the day as Mike Hussey and Peter Siddle departed in consecutive overs.
Hussey added just one to his overnight 47 before being caught behind off Kemar Roach, wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh diving to his left to pull off a superb take.
Siddle was then bounced out by Fidel Edwards for a duck, the paceman’s namesake Kirk taking a fine catch at gully after Australia’s number eight had been inconvenienced by a short ball.
Debutant Matthew Wade battled to 28 but then paid the price for a lack of foot movement as he drove at Edwards and was pouched by Darren Bravo at second slip.
At that point, the Windies appeared to be in control, but there was to be a dramatic shift in momentum.
Hilfenhaus clubbed five fours in a ninth-wicket stand of 44 and the runs continued to flow after he had been bowled by Roach as Harris and Lyon combined to frustrate the hosts.
Both men were strong on the drive and solid in defence throughout a partnership of 77 that only ended when Clarke boldly declared in an attempt to force a positive result.
His decision was justified almost immediately as Hilfenhaus wreaked havoc with the new ball.
Adrian Barath was bowled through the gate, Kraigg Brathwaite walked after feathering an edge through to Wade and Kirk Edwards was trapped lbw after shuffling across his stumps.
When Shivnarine Chanderpaul provided Wade with a second catch of the innings, having been squared up by Harris, West Indies were in further trouble on 17 for four.
A determined stand of 50 between Bravo and Narsingh Deonarine provided welcome relief, but the former threw his wicket away on 32 when he was caught behind off Siddle driving loosely.
Deonarine remained and reached the close unbeaten on 20, with Baugh alongside on two.