The World Champions started their first tour after the World Cup victory. They travelled to West Indies and for a brief series. The first test match of the series started on Wednesday. The West Indies, after an impressive outing against the English were high on confidence and rearing to play against the champions.
The weather at Roseau was a bit warm and the pitch a bit flat. With neither captains unsure what to do if they win the toss, West Indies chose to bat after winning the toss so as to try and put runs on board and put pressure on the visiting team.
The West Indies played a debutant in Dowrich in the middle order. Australia has left out the injured Rogers from the starting XI. The West Indies came out positively with Hope and Brathwaite looking comfortable for the first five overs.
In the sixth over, Hazlewood produced a beauty to remove Brathwaite caught behind for 10. In came Bravo at 23/1. The left-right combination was looking good and the batsmen grew confident.
But it dint take long for Lyon, who was surprisingly given the 13th over, and managed to find the edge of the left handed Bravo for 19. But it took a smart catch in the slips to remove him. West Indies were now 63/2 and in desperate need for a partnership. The debutant walked into a tricky situation.
However, it took only three over’s for Johnson to strike. Hope went for 36 and in walked Samuels. The pair took the team to 85/3, without further damage, to lunch on the first day. Dowrich was looking confident on his debut.
After lunch, it took just 9 balls to strike for Australia. Hazlewood got the debutant dragging on. He was dismissed for 15 and West Indies were in trouble at 87/4. Blackwood dint last long as Hazlewood once again found his edge. He only scored 2 runs.
The captain entered the crease and would have wanted to produce some calm to the innings. Samuels had other plans as he hooked one straight into the hands of the fielder in the next over. West Indies were now 92/6 and already looking at a test defeat.
Holder walked in and gave some company to Ramdin.
But another break for drinks got to Ramdin. After a partnership of 21 runs, Ramdin got knocked over by a beauty by Johnson who was fired up. West Indies were now 121/7.
The last three wickets fell for another 27 runs as WI were bundled out for 148 before the tea brake which was extended after the 9th wicket. Holder helped pull the score up with a handy 21 down the order.
Australia accomplished a very good bowling performance and was happy at tea. They were all smiles as WI posted a modest total and there was a lot of time in the game.
Warner and Marsh walked in and started with intent as the first two over’s went for 12 runs. But Warner lost his wicket to a ball that bounced a bit from Taylor. Australia lost their first wicket at 13.
Inform Steve Smith walked in and started to play his own game. But just as Australia was looking comfortable, Marsh played at one which he did not have to and edged it to Samuels at 1st slip. He was gone for 19 as Australia were now at 38/2
Clarke joined Smith in the middle and the two batted valuable time. But Clarke edged one of Bishoo for 18 and Australia was for once reduced to 61/3. Voges who was on a debut and Smith took Australia to the end of the day without further damage. They finished 85/3. Smith is on 17, Voges on 20. Australia still trail by 63 runs with 7 wickets in hand.
The second session of the day produced 65 runs for 7 wickets and this took the game away from the West Indies. They will want to pick some early wickets tomorrow as well to continue the pressure that was applied in the last session of the game.
If West Indies continue to bowl with such discipline, we may well be watching another close test match between the two teams.