Aussies nearing big win over Windies

Australia are poised to wrap up a 2-0 series win over the West Indies with the hosts struggling to 2-16 at stumps on day three in Jamaica.

Mitchell Starc’s double-strike has given Australia hope of completing a quick kill when play resumes at Sabina Park on Sunday.

The hosts still need a further 376 runs for victory with Starc (2-1) removing openers Kraigg Brathwaite (0) and Rajendra Chandrika (0) in the first over of the Windies’ second innings.

The wickets were the perfect reward for Australia captain Michael Clarke after he’d ended the tourists’ second innings on 2(dec)-212.

It could have been even worse for the home side but Darren Bravo (8no) successfully reviewed an lbw decision given against him off the bowling of Nathan Lyon (0-6).

David Warner (62), Shaun Marsh (69) and Steve Smith (54no) all made half-centuries before skipper Michael Clarke called time on the Australians’ second innings and set the Windies 392 for victory.

Warner and Marsh made the most of what was essentially a glorified centre-wicket practice session after Australia had wrapped up the Windies first innings for 220 to secure a 179-run lead.

The opening pair put on 117 before Warner fell caught behind off the bowling of Kemar Roach (1-26) just before tea.

Clarke and Smith then added an unbeaten 49 before sending the Windies back in to bat.

Earlier in the day, Australia quick Josh Hazlewood’s career-best Test figures halted a Windies’ first innings counter-attack.

Hazlewood picked up two wickets in three deliveries to dismiss the West Indies for 220 in their first innings after the hosts had belted 77 runs off 73 balls to get past the follow-on.

Resuming on 8-143 and still needing another 57 runs to avoid the follow-on, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder launched a blistering attack on the Australian bowlers.

Holder belted 12 fours and two sixes in his 63-ball knock, finishing unbeaten on 82 after Hazlewood dismissed Roach (7) and Jerome Taylor (0) in quickfire fashion.

Hazlewood’s 5-38 eclipses his 5-68 on debut against India in Brisbane in December.

It also means he’s the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 10 dismissals in the two Tests so far.

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