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West Indies trail by 460 runs

Towards the end of Australia’s latest gargantuan first innings in a summer of batting gluttony, the West Indies opener Rajendra Chandrika was struck a painful blow on the wrist by an Adam Voges stroke. Quickly to his aid was the hosts’ team doctor Peter Brukner. Chandrika recovered and later batted; it was the only moment’s mercy offered by the Australians to their hapless quarry all day.
More representative was the bowling of Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon, all of whom harried their opponents relentlessly and were rewarded with regular victims. Lyon’s loop, Pattinson’s reverse swing and Siddle’s accuracy made for a highly complementary attack, augmented by the stingy Josh Hazlewood.
By the close they had reduced the West Indies to a forlorn 6 for 89 in response to 551, leaving open the possibility of another follow on, another Australian innings victory and another three-day Test match. Even if the shorter turnaround to the New Year’s Test in Sydney stops Steven Smith from making such a call, not even the most staunchly patriotic Australian supporter can take too much joy from ritual executions of such lopsided brutality.
A second day gathering of 40,416 was the sort of figure both Cricket Australia and the MCC would have been happy about. Nevertheless it was very apparent how on each day the crowds thinned after tea, as though they could not put themselves through the recurring spectacle of one of cricket’s domineers beating up on an opponent in dreadful disrepair. For all the rhetoric of Curtly Ambrose and the good intentions of Jason Holder, there is very little within the power of this touring team to avoid problems that have built up over decades of neglect, infighting and divided loyalties.
The first half of day two had Voges and Smith batting without risk or any apparent danger. Their undefeated stand of 223 followed up the strong work of Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja on Boxing Day, and contributed to the statistical mountain being built by an Australian side growing daily under the leadership of their new captain.

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