Travis Head has produced a moment of magic that might have swung the pendulum in Australia’s favour on Day 3 of the second Test at the Gabba.
With West Indies building a decent lead at 4-148, Head broke what looked like a strong partnership with a stunning piece of fielding.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Head’s incredible piece of fielding.
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Fielding at short leg, Head showed incredible awareness to not only field Kavem Hodge’s shot from close range, but then quickly backhand it to the stumps.
Hodge dived back in despair but his bat was in the air and the Aussies celebrated a miraculous breakthrough.
The West Indies No.5 had made 71 in the first innings and was looking solid in the second dig, but had to depart on 29.
Travis Head’s miracle run out. Credit: Channel 7
“Huge moment in the Test match, game on a knife’s edge. Is this out? A backhander of massive consequence. It looks like the bat’s in the air,” Alister Nicholson said on Channel 7.
“This is out. This is a breakthrough from nowhere. Game awareness, brilliant skill and Travis Head might just have had an enormous say on this match.
“He cannot believe it. He did not bank on the reflexes and intelligence of Travis Head.”
West Indies great Ian Bishop was left stunned by what he saw.
“I say this with a tinge of envy, that is brilliant,” he said on Channel 7.
Alison Mitchell added: “Spectacular from Head. Just super awareness.”
Australia require a further 156 runs to win the Test with Steve Smith still at the crease after West Indies lost strike bowler Shamar Joseph to a crushed big right toe.
The hosts were 2-60 at stumps with Smith 33 not out and looking as assured as he has been since moving to opener.
Australia have their nose in front but West Indies will still give themselves some hope of making the run chase of 216 interesting. Rain is forecast for Brisbane on Sunday and Monday.
Marnus Labuschagne (five) failed for the second time in the Test, out once again to a diving Kevin Sinclair catch in the slips.
West Indies were all out for 193 in their second innings when Mitchell Starc hit Joseph flush on the foot and the paceman was unable to continue.
He limped from the field and was unable to bowl in the final session with his injury being iced and monitored by the side’s medical staff.
The tourists lost 3-1 immediately after the second break with their nemesis Josh Hazlewood (3-23) taking his series wicket tally to 14 and Nathan Lyon (3-42) chiming in.
Alick Athanaze (35) was dropped by Smith before tea but gave him another chance off Lyon that he accepted with glee.
Cameron Green then came up with a piece of magic of his own at gully to tap up a flying edge from Josh Da Silva (seven) and grab it with one hand at the second attempt.
In the first session, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite (16) drove loosely to cover off Green and promising left-hander Kirk McKenzie (41) was striking the ball beautifully when he was lbw attempting to sweep Lyon.
McKenzie played an assortment of exquisite drives down the ground and through cover.
The 23-year-old was looking set for a big score, but as has been the case in several of his knocks this series, he got out just when he had the bowlers at his mercy.
In their first innings, West Indies made 311 after electing to bat before Australia responded with 9-289 declared.
The visitors are seeking to win their first Test in Australia since Brian Lara and Curtly Ambrose spearheaded a 10-wicket triumph in Perth in 1997.
– With AAP