Katich ton inspires Aussies
Simon Katich struck a magnificent 113 not out to inspire Australia to 259-3 at stumps on day one of the second Test against West Indies
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 01/06/08 10:26pm
Second Test Match
Antigua - Day One
Australia 259-3 (S M Katich 113 no, R T Ponting 65) v West Indies
Simon Katich struck a magnificent 113 not out to inspire Australia to 259-3 at stumps on day one of the second Test against West Indies in Antigua.
Another Aussie to bring up a significant milestone was captain Ricky Ponting. His score of 65 saw him pass 10,000 Test runs and join an elite list of only six other players to have achieved the feat.
Katich's century was certainly a timely one. The left hander had not scored a Test half-century since the Ashes tour of England in 2005, and with the injury to Matthew Hayden the onus is now on the 32-year-old to perform at the top of the order.
After winning the toss Ponting had no hesitation in batting on a flat track at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards took the new ball, but both failed to threaten either Phil Jaques or Katich consistently and the left-hand duo safely negotiated the opening burst through to drinks.
It was the introduction of talented all-rounder Dwayne Bravo into the attack which immediately provided a much-needed breakthrough for the West Indies.
Only three balls into Bravo's spell and a full-swinging delivery trapped Jaques in front of middle stump, giving umpire Mark Benson the easiest of LBW decisions.
Jaques made just 17 and after meagre scores of nine and four in the first Test in Jamaica his place made be under threat heading into the final Test.
Jaques' departure saw Ponting arrive at the crease just 58 runs away from becoming only the seventh batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
The Aussie skipper and Katich safely got to lunch, with Ponting quickly picking up where he left off at Sabina Park where he blitzed a majestic 158 in the first innings with the minimum of fuss.
Katich and Ponting both surpassed 50 in quick succession, and the Australia number three soon brought up his 10,000th run to the elation of the visiting support.
However, shortly before drinks in the second session Ponting perished after his loose drive off the bowling of Jerome Taylor was snapped up by Xavier Marshall at third slip.
As Mike Hussey came to the crease Katich edged ever closer to his third Test match century.
But after making just 10, an out of sorts Hussey pulled a long-hop from Darren Sammy straight to Shivnarine Chanderpaul who caught well at mid-wicket.
At 199-3 the home side could sense a couple more wickets in the final session as vice-captain Michael Clarke came to the crease.
Clarke played his way in with a couple of crunching shots through cover point before Katich gave the pocket of visiting support located in the hot tubs another reason to cheer as he crashed Bravo through mid-wicket to bring up his century.
It was an innings which Katich and Australia desperately needed after the early departure of Jaques. The century came off 197 balls and included eight fours.
Clarke (38no) and Katich took the fourth-wicket partnership past 50 before stumps and the pair will resume play on day two attempting to bat the hosts out of the game.