Windies face daunting chase

Australia tightened their stranglehold on the third and final Test as they ended day three on 200-6 – leading West Indies by 310 runs.

Ricky Ponting and Ed Cowan made 57 and 55 respectively with captain Michael Clarke the next highest scorer with 25 and at the close Michael Hussey was 17 not out alongside Ryan Harris (4no).

But the tourists could have been in an even stronger position had they not lost four wickets after tea in Dominica, but they nevertheless will fancy their chances of closing out a 2-0 series win.

Shane Shillingford (2-69) took two more wickets to bring to eight the number of victims he has claimed so far in this Test.

Earlier, Nathan Lyon finished with 4-69 with Australia eventually ending Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s dogged resistance at the crease, with the veteran batsman last out and also the hosts’ top scorer with 68.

Resuming on 165-8, Chanderpaul and Ravi Rampaul moved the score on to 186 before the latter was caught by David Warner off the bowling of Lyon.

His 31 also formed part of a vital 66-run stand with Chanderpaul which had steadied matters after the team had been rocking.

Chanderpaul’s 50 came when he lifted Ben Hilfenhaus over extra cover but, after moving on to 68, he was trapped lbw to Mitchell Starc.

Australia started their second innings 110 runs ahead with Warner and Cowan at the crease but having cracked two boundaries, the former was gone before the break, caught at slip by Chanderpaul.

Resuming after lunch on 18-1, Australia had added just seven when they lost the wicket of Watson for five, coming forward but directing the ball straight to Darren Sammy at slip.

Cowan was unbeaten on a brisk 45 off 101 deliveries, including four boundaries, with Ponting a solid presence.

After Cowan was out for 55, skipper Clarke and former captain Ponting set about the home bowling, before the Tasmanian departed in the most unfortunate circumstances.

After easing to a 62nd Test half-century, Ponting, playing what will almost certainly be his last Test innings in the Caribbean, could only look on in disbelief as the ball looped up to slip off the back of his bat when he had attempted to evade a nasty Kemar Roach bouncer.

That left Australia on 168-4, which soon became 171-5 when Clark offered an easy catch to Darren Bravo off Shillingford, while Matthew Wade added just four to the century he scored in the first innings as Australia closed on 200-6.