Kraigg Brathwaite scored 85 on day one at the SCG.
Kraigg Brathwaite scored 85 on day one at the SCG. Mark Kolbe/GETTY IMAGES

Spinners reign on rainy day at the SCG

RAIN is set to be the West Indian team's best friend in Sydney, with more of it scheduled for the remainder of the third Test.

Two rain delays saw just 75 overs bowled on day one of the New Year Test at the SCG, the visitors reaching 6-207 at stumps.

But despite a chunk of play being lost, the Australian selectors would feel vindicated after they opted for two tweakers on a spin-friendly pitch.

Left-arm off-spinner Steve O'Keefe made an impressive home Test debut, the New South Welshman taking 1-42 in his familiar surrounds at the SCG.

He dismissed West Indian captain Jason Holder for one, Queenslander Joe Burns taking an impressive one-hand reflex catch at short leg.

The West Indians continued their improved fight with the bat for much of the first day, after scoring 271 and 282 in Melbourne's Boxing Day Test, following their humiliating innings 212-run defeat in Hobart.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite led the way with 85.

The 23-year-old has shown some glimpses of his potential with the willow this series, holding together his team's second innings with 94 during the first Test in Hobart.

But his hard toil was undone yesterday after attempting an unorthodox dab cut shot to Lyon (2-68), the extra bounce surprising Brathwaite who gloved the ball to Steve Smith at first slip.

That was Lyon's 100th Test wicket in Australia.

Earlier, the off-spinner had dismissed Jermaine Blackwood for 10 with a gem, the ball turning and bouncing after it pitched outside off stump, the No.5 clean bowled after shouldering arms.

While O'Keefe and Lyon took three wickets between them, quick bowlers Josh Hazlewood (1-35) and James Pattinson (1-41) also bowled well.

Hazlewood had opener Shai Hope caught behind for nine, pushing at a good-length ball with the score on 13.

Pattinson dismissed Darren Bravo for 33 with a well-aimed bouncer, taken nicely by Usman Khawaja in the deep.

Marlon Samuels' dreadful Australian tour then continued, involved in a horror run-out for four after a mix-up with Brathwaite.

That made the score 3-115, before Lyon and O'Keefe took charge.

Unfortunately the weather looks set to play a key part in the outcome, with up to 40 mm expected today, and more rain tomorrow.
 



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