Before the commencement of the Ashes later in July, the Australians have arrived in the Caribbean for a 2-match test series against the West Indies. While the home side has found some confidence after a dramatic series draw against England a couple of weeks ago, Australia would look to find a winning combination in this tour, ahead of the face-off against England.
West Indies bat first; Josh Hazlewood sends top-order packing:
West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin won the toss and elected to bat. The match saw two debutants, one from each team. Youngster Shane Dowrich donned the West Indies test cap while it was Adam Voges for the visitors who was handed the Baggy Green.
The Australian bowlers were on the mark from the very beginning. They bowled in tight lines to the West Indies’ opening pair of Shai Hope and Kraig Brathwaite. The latter was dismissed caught behind on 10, courtesy a brilliant piece of swing bowling by pacer Josh Hazlewood. Darren Bravo walked in at no. 3 and paced the scoreboard well along with Hope. They added 40 runs for the 2nd wicket before off-spinner Nathan Lyon got rid of Bravo (19). Michael Clarke completed a sharp catch at slip to send the West Indian back to the pavilion.
Shai Hope (36) too made his way to the dressing room after being dismissed by left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson and his dismissal opened up the floodgates. Debutant Shane Dowrich (15), Marlon Samuels (7) and Jermaine Blackwood (2) departed without contributing much. Josh Hazlewood was the chief destroyer as he was involved in all three dismissals. In no time, the home side were reduced to 91/6 from 63/1.
Bowlers continue onslaught, West Indies bowled out for 148:
Denesh Ramdin and Jason Holder had an uphill task at hand but the Australian bowling unit hardly gave them any chance to counter-attack. A short 20-run partnership between the two was put to an end by Mitchell Johnson who rattled Ramdin’s stumps while batting on 19. The rest of the batsmen were dismissed in quick succession and the hosts were bowled out at the stroke of tea after adding just 148 runs on the board. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson were the pick of the bowlers as they finished with 2 wickets apiece.
Australian top-order fail to fire, Smith and Voges hold ground at stumps:
Following Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson’s exploits with the ball, it was now the turn of the West Indian bowlers to have a go at the Aussies. David Warner (8) found the leading edge off Jerome Taylor’s bowling and the ball went straight into Jermaine Blackwood at point. Shaun Marsh (19) and Michael Clarke (18) were dismissed by Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo respectively and the visitors were down to 61/3 in the 24th over.
Steve Smith (19*) and Adam Voges (20*) negotiated through the remainder of the day and ensured no further damage. At stumps, Australia were 85/3 and have closed in on the target. 13 wickets fell during the day and only 233 runs were scored.
What to expect from day 2?
Smith and Voges would look to bat out a session or two in order to build a strong 1st innings lead. While the wicket continued to surprise both teams, the West Indians should not refrain from attacking as they would have a very good chance in the game provided they get the set batsmen out in the morning session.
Day 1 summary:
West Indies 148 all out in 53.5 overs (Shai Hope 36, Josh Hazlewood 3-33, Mitchell Johnson 3-34)
Australia 85/3 in 30 overs (Adam Voges 20*, Jason Holder 1-14)
Australia trail by 63 runs with 7 wickets remaining.