Shivnarine Chanderpaul prefers to do his talking with the bat and after scoring his 19th Test century – equalling Clive Lloyd’s mark – he summed up his outstanding contribution by saying “I’m just doing my job”. In the first two matches of the series Chanderpaul has been almost impossible to remove and his 107 not out was responsible for leading West Indies to a first-innings total of 352.
While Brett Lee was removing the tail in a brutal spell, the tiny Chanderpaul was desperately trying to hold the team together. However, he was left stranded after staying for 236 balls, hitting 12 fours and adding to his 118 in the first Test. “If we had batted on until tea it would have made a difference,” he said. “We would have taken down that lead by probably another hundred if we batted to tea.”
It was Chanderpaul’s fourth century against Australia and he will again stand in the way of Ricky Ponting’s team as it fights to seal the series. At the end of the fourth day the tourists, who were 244 for 6, had a buffer of 371. “When you are coming up against the No. 1 team in the world it is going to be mentally and physically tough to go out there and fight,” he said.
West Indies’ task wasn’t helped by a series of doubtful decisions when Lee was bowling. Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy all had reason to feel aggrieved when they were given out by Russell Tiffin in four balls over two overs.
“That is how the game goes, you can’t worry about what’s gone,” Chanderpaul said before praising Lee’s performance. “He got the ball to swing both ways and was bowling pretty well, so it wasn’t easy. There was one he surprised me with, an inswinging yorker, and I started to open my eyes wide looking for everything.”
Despite the tough situation, Chanderpaul was confident West Indies could save the game. “We have enough talent in our team,” he said. “Hopefully the guys could just put it together and show their true talents out there tomorrow and bat well and we could all do well and save the game. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be tough cricket.”