MELBOURNE, Australia, (CMC): All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has praised West Indies’ fightback but believes it will take a “monumental effort” in order to avoid defeat to Australia in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Windies ended the third day yesterday trailing by 459 runs after being dismissed for 271 in response to the Aussies’ mammoth first-innings total of 551 for three declared. Batting a second time, Australia reached 179 for three at the close to pile even more pressure on the Windies. “From a team point of view, I was happy with the fight that we showed,” said Brathwaite, who is playing in his debut Test. BOUNCING BACK “Ultimately, the game is still very, very far out of our hands, and it will take a monumental effort to bring ourselves back into the game, even in trying to draw it or win it, but that’s a challenge we’ll look at tomorrow.” Brathwaite played a key role in the Windies’ resistance on yesterday’s third day, stroking a positive 59 in a 90-run seventh-wicket stand with left-hander Darren Bravo, who top-scored with 81. The partnership hauled the Caribbean side around from a precarious position of 91 for six at the start. Bizarrely, Brathwaite was given two lives – on 13 and on 50 – after fast bowler James Pattinson dismissed him twice with front-foot no-balls. “Personally, I was a bit fortunate … and I am just happy I could contribute to a fighting day’s performance,” the 27-year-old told reporters. “And I hope that the fans in the West Indies can get to put a smile back on their faces so they can realise we’re not just here for being here sake, and we actually want to compete and do well.” West Indies produced a horror showing in the Hobart first Test to lose by an innings and 212 runs and also struggled on the first two days of the current encounter, allowing Australia to pile up in excess of 500 for the second straight game. HIGH SPIRITS However, Brathwaite said that despite the poor results on tour, the Windies team spirit remained high and players were continuing to work hard behind the scenes. “I think the team spirit is there. Fortunately for me, I see it day in day out, the way we train … the way we operate off the field,” the Barbadian pointed out. “When performances aren’t going well, it is difficult to see energy and how hard guys work, and I don’t think the wider public is seeing the effort we put in, which is unfortunate,” he said. SCOREBOARD AUSTRALIA 1st innings 551-3 decl WEST INDIES 1st Innings (overnight 91 for six) K Brathwaite c Burns b Lyon 17 R Chandrika lbw b Pattinson 25 DM Bravo c Smith b Pattinson 81 M Samuels lbw b Pattinson 0 J Blackwood c & b Lyon 28 +D Ramdin c Burns b Siddle 0 *J Holder b Siddle 0 C Brathwaite c and b Lyon 59 K Roach lbw b Pattinson 22 J Taylor c wkp Nevill b Lyon 15 JA Warrican not out 11 Extras: (b5, lb3, nb5) 13 Total: (all out; 100.3 overs) 271 Fall of wickets: 1-35 (K Brathwaite), 2-50 (Chandrika), 3-50 (Samuels), 4-82 (Blackwood,), 5-83 (Ramdin), 6-83 (Holder), 7-173 (C Brathwaite), 8-215 (Roach), 9-239 (Taylor), 10-271 (Bravo). Bowling: Hazlewood 21-6-49-0, Pattinson 22.3-1-72-4 (nb4), Lyon 29-8-66-4, Siddle 18-3-40-2 (nb1), Marsh 7-4-15-0, Smith 3-0-21-0. AUSTRALIA 2nd Innings J Burns c K Brathwaite b Holder 4 D Warner c Holder b C Brathwaite 17 U Khawaja c wkp Ramdin b Holder 56 *S Smith not out 70 M Marsh not out 18 Extras: (lb7, w2, nb5) 14 Total: (3 wkts, 32 overs) 179 Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Burns), 2-46 (Warner), 3-123 (Khawaja) Bowling: Taylor 3-0-24-0, Holder 11-1-49-2 (nb1), C Brathwaite 6-1-30-1 (w1), Roach 4-0-22-0, Warrican 8-0-47-0. Position: Australia lead by 459 runs. Toss: West Indies.
SHOT PUT AFTER missing out on quality competition for the past two seasons, Traves Smikle, who competed for Jamaica at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, had to watch from the sidelines after failing a doping test. However, his suspension was provisionally lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last February. Since his comeback, the 23-year-old former Calabar High School throwing sensation has been taking it slowly. Last Saturday, he played second fiddle to his teammate at Calabar High and now UWI, Fedrick Dacres, in the men’s Open discus, where he threw 57.47 metres. “Today (Saturday) my performance didn’t go as planned as coming off a good training session I expected better. But I sustained an injury to my left hand, which was kind of sprained, but my coach told me to go out there and try to compete, and I will just have to go back and get treatment for the injury,” said Smikle, who has a personal best of 67.12m in the discus back in 2012. He also competes in the shot put, where he has a personal best 18.58m, done in 2011. “Overall, I am being patient and this is track and field, and with my event, it is not something you have to rush as you just have to be persistent and the breakthrough will come, so I am being patient and dealing with the problems I have,” he said. Smikle stated that he also enjoys the rivalry between him and his teammates. “It is good as we make each other better, and right now, we are finding ways to get further throws, and the rivalry is good, and we just hope for more progress and positive vibes,” he said. “Coming into this season I am more motivated and focused, and during the period, I had my issues. I was not doing enough training as I was sorting out personal things. But with regard to my athleticism I am getting it back, so I need to get back my fitness and certain things I normally had, and it is going to take some time, but I am being patient,” he said. Smikle believes overseas competition at the highest level will be key for improvements. “At this point in our career, we have to get more competition to get to a higher level as it is all about competing against the best, and in order to improve, you have to compete against the best in the world. As my coach always says, you have to be in the ‘fire’, and Fedrick is leaving soon to go to compete in Europe, and that is also my aim as I thrive off competition,” he said.
“I want to thank the Almighty because without Him nothing is possible. We have a pastor in the team in Andre Fletcher. He keeps on praying. We are a praying team. I’m really happy for this win and it’s something we are going to cherish for a long time,” an emotional captain Darren Sammy said afterwards. “I’ve said before the tournament we have 15 match-winners. Nobody gave us a chance, but every game somebody stepped up and took responsibility. To see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup, it’s just tremendous. “It shows the depth we have in the Caribbean in T20 cricket and, hopefully, with the right structure and development, our cricket will continue to improve in one-day and Test cricket.” No such success seemed on the cards when Charles holed out to Stokes, running in from deep mid-on with one run on the board, and Gayle picked out the same fielder at long-off two balls later to leave England on top. Simmons shuffled across to left-armer David Willey and was lbw off the first ball of the next over, as West Indies’ chances of victory seemed to dim. But Samuels and Bravo came together to steady the innings in a stand that was more pragmatic than flamboyant and which guided West Indies to 54 without further loss at the halfway point of the innings. Bravo, dropped on 11 by substitute Sam Billings off Stokes in the 13th over, recovered to belt leg-spinner Adil Rashid over midwicket for six in the next over before top-edging the final ball to Root at point at 86 for four. Samuels, on 50 at the time, then blasted a four and two successive sixes off seamer Liam Plunkett in an over that gushed 18 runs, but England struck back to claim two wickets for just 21 runs in the space of nine balls and leave the Windies tottering on 107 for six in the 16th over. Andre Russell picked out Stokes on the wide midwicket boundary off the first ball of the 16th over from Willey, before Sammy lofted the third delivery to deep cover, where Alex Hales held the catch. Brathwaite joined Samuels and the pair sensibly navigating the final overs before taking eight runs from the penultimate one bowled by seamer Chris Jordan before launching the last-over assault. – CMC SCOREBOARD ENGLAND J Roy b Badree 0 A Hales c Badree b Russell 1 J Root c Benn b Brathwaite 54 *E Morgan c Gayle b Badree 5 +J Buttler c Bravo b Brathwaite 36 B Stokes c Simmons b Bravo 13 M Ali c wkp Ramdin b Bravo 0 C Jordan not out 12 D Willey c Charles b Brathwaite 21 L Plunkett c Badree b Bravo 4 A Rashid not out 4 Extras (lb4, w1) 5 TOTAL (9 wkts, 20 overs) 155 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Roy, 0.2 overs), 2-8 (Hales, 1.5), 3-23 (Morgan, 4.4), 4-84 (Buttler, 11.2), 5-110 (Stokes, 13.4), 6-110 (Ali, 14), 7-111 (Root, 14.1), 8-136 (Willey, 17.3), 9-142 (Plunkett, 18.3) Bowling: Badree 4-1-16-2, Russell 4-0-21-1, Benn 3-0-40-0, DJ Bravo 4-0-37-3, Brathwaite 4-0-23-3 (w1), Sammy 1-0-14-0. WEST INDIES J Charles c Stokes b Root 1 C Gayle c Stokes b Root 4 M Samuels not out 85 L Simmons lbw b Willey 0 DJ Bravo c Root b Rashid 25 A Russell c Stokes b Willey 1 *D Sammy c Hales b Willey 2 C Brathwaite not out 34 Extras (lb3, w6) 9 TOTAL (6 wkts, 19.4 overs) 161 Did not bat: +D Ramdin, S Badree, S Benn Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Charles, 1.1 overs), 2-5 (Gayle, 1.3), 3-11 (Simmons, 2.3), 4-86 (Bravo, 14), 5-104 (Russell, 15.1), 6-107 (Sammy, 15.3) Bowling: Willey 4-0-20-3 (w2), Root 1-0-9-2, Jordan 4-0-36-0 (w1), Plunkett 4-0-29-0 (w1), Rashid 4-0-23-1, Stokes 2.4-0-41-0 (w2). Result: West Indies won by four wickets. Series: West Indies win Twenty20 World Cup. Man-of-the-Match: Marlon Samuels. Man-of-the-Series: Virat Kohli. Toss: West Indies. Umpires: K Dharmasena, R Tucker; TV M Erasmus Brathwaite finished on 34 not out from just 10 deliveries, but it was veteran right-hander Marlon Samuels who stroked an unbeaten 85 from 66 balls, who was the architect of the victory. The languid Jamaican, adjudged Man of the Match, smashed nine fours and two sixes, anchoring two crucial stands, first with Dwayne Bravo (24) and then with Brathwaite, to pull West Indies around from 11 for three in the third over. They lost both openers, Johnson Charles (1) and Chris Gayle (4), in the second over to off-spinner Joe Root, and when semi-final hero Lendl Simmons fell to a first ball ‘duck’ in the following over, the Windies were up against the ropes. But Samuels posted 75 for the fourth wicket with Bravo, who struck a four and a six off 27 deliveries and then 54 for the seventh wicket with the outstanding Brathwaite, who counted a four and four sixes. Earlier, Brathwaite and Bravo had also starred with the ball, taking three wickets apiece as England were restricted to 155 for nine off their 20 overs, after they were sent in. Joe Root top-scored with 54 and Jos Buttler got 36, but Brathwaite (3-23) and Bravo (3-37), along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree (2-16), grabbed wickets at key points to cripple the England innings. The victory ensured a sweep of both T20 World Cup titles after West Indies Women upset three-time defending champions Australia by eight wickets at the same venue earlier. With the triumph, the men’s side became the first nation to win the T20 World Cup twice, following on from their success in Sri Lanka four years ago. CHERISH FOR LONG TIME ARCHITECT OF THE VICTORY RECOVERED KOLKATA, India (CMC): Carlos Brathwaite belted four astonishing sixes off the first four deliveries of the final over to catapult West Indies to an extraordinary four-wicket victory over England as the Caribbean made history by sweeping both the men’s and women’s titles at the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup here yesterday. With West Indies requiring a difficult 19 from the final over in pursuit of 156 for victory at Eden Gardens, the right-handed Brathwaite cleared the ropes four times in succession from seamer Ben Stokes to hand West Indies a spectacular victory with two balls to spare.