Woeful Windies

ROSEAU –– Australia established an early advantage in the first Test against West Indies as 13 wickets fell on day one in Dominica today.

Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson both took three wickets apiece as the tourists rattled through the Windies line up for 148 in just two sessions.

But Australia lost both openers and captain Michael Clarke in reply to leave them 85 for three at the close, trailing by 63.

Adam Voges came in to make his Test debut for Australia at the age of 35 while Clarke and Johnson also returned to the five-day fold.

Shane Dowrich made his debut for West Indies, who won the toss and decided to bat but they were in for a torrid time in the middle.

Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope put on 23 for the first wicket but the former edged Hazlewood behind for 10 and Darren Bravo made 19 before Clarke took a brilliant one-handed catch off Nathan Lyon.

Shai Hope evades this bouncer. He top-scored with 36 in a weak Windies' batting display.
Shai Hope evades this bouncer. He top-scored with 36 in a weak Windies’ batting display.

Hope had made his way to 36 with five boundaries and some classy drives before he became victim to more impressive fielding, an edge off Johnson finding its way to Shaun Marsh who made a diving claim at gully. He and Bravo had added 40 before the latter’s departure. The Windies made it to lunch at 85 for three but three quick-fire wickets just after the resumption, all involving Hazlewood, had them rocking on their heels.

Dowrich dragged on off the paceman to exit for 15 before Jermaine Blackwood (two) edged to third slip where Clarke took another smart catch.

Mitchell Starc then got in on the act as his short ball caused Marlon Samuels (seven) to top edge a pull to the grateful Hazlewood to make it 91 for six. A 30-partnership then steadied the ship a little but Johnson cleaned up Denesh Ramdin for 19 and Jason Holder soon followed for 21, nicking Starc to Marsh at gully.

Voges continued the theme of outstanding fielding as Jerome Taylor (six) attempted to pull a Steven Smith long-hop and the debutant took a running catch over his shoulder. The innings was then over before tea, Shannon Gabriel edging Johnson to Clarke in the slips for two.

The tourists would have been delighted with their two sessions’ work but got off to a poor start in reply, losing David Warner cheaply. The explosive opener was on just eight when Taylor appeared to get a bit of extra bounce forcing Warner to simply pop the ball up to Blackwood at point.

Debutant Shane Dowrich receiving his cap from former Dominica and West Indies fast bowler Norbert Phillip.
Debutant Shane Dowrich receiving his cap from former Dominica and West Indies fast bowler Norbert Phillip.

Australia dropped anchor, adding just 25 in the next 13.5 overs, but Marsh was gone for 19 as he edged Holder to Bravo at first slip. That brought the skipper to the crease and he deposited Devendra Bishoo for six but the spinner had his revenge when Clarke edged to the keeper to depart for 18.

Voges had his first Test runs off just his second ball with a four and got to the close unbeaten on 20 alongside Smith. Smith was Australia’s rock during the home summer against India and again he appeared immovable, although he also found scoring difficult with variable bounce and a slow outfield. He ended the day on 17 from 67 deliveries and had not scored a boundary.

Australia are more than halfway to West Indies’ total, but as day one showed, things can happen quickly on the surface even if scoring did not. It was worth remembering that West Indies had been 85 for 3, too, before their collapse.

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