Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Tony Becca: Aussies are on the way

Published:Sunday | June 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Devendra Bishoo

The first Test of the two-match series between the West Indies and Australia finished late on Friday's third day with a sudden, dramatic, and in the end, comfortable victory for the powerful and confident tourists.

On a responsive pitch, and one becoming more and more known for its kindness to spinners from early in the proceedings, the West Indies batting was blown away for a handful of runs in both innings as the home team lost by nine wickets.

In a match which, looking especially at the West Indies youthful top order batsmen and those of Australia, resembled that between an Old Boys X1 and a Present Boys X1 at a Reunion match, the West Indies batsmen, in both innings and but for a partnership of 144 in the second innings between debutante Shane Dorwich and Marlon Samuels, appeared out of their depth.

Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, and Dowrich himself are obviously young and talented but they need to improve their foot movement and their stroke selection. Darren Bravo also needs to look at his concentration, foot movements, and stroke selection. Jermaine Blackwood needs to control his aggression whenever he goes to bat; and Samuels, now that he is the senior batsman on the team, needs to bat accordingly, especially those times when he appears set.

After falling for 148 and forcing Australia to fight from 126 for six to 318 in the first innings, the West Indies recovered from 37 for three to 181 for three before crashing to 216 as seven wickets fell for a meagre 35 runs

In fact, the last six wickets fell for 18 runs in an all too familiar display.

Looking at the play, despite a few moments of fighting cricket by the West Indies, it seemed a case of Australian commitment against West Indian flair, or in the case of Samuel's dismissals in both innings, it appeared, as it did in 1975-76, the case of the happy hookers all over again.

At other times, such as when Blackwood was stumped metres down the wicket in the second innings, and when last man Shannon Gabriel took a swing at left-handed fast bowler Mitchell Starc and was bowled middle stump, the West Indies looked like "calypso cricketers".

Apart from witnessing the strength of Australia's cricket, especially their fighting spirit in winning a Test which seemed like getting away from them when the West Indies were bouncing along at 181 for three with Dowrich and Samuels on the go, there were two performances which were beyond the ordinary.

The first, late on the first day and early on the second day, was the bowling of right-arm leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

After removing Michael Clarke late on the first day, Bishoo returned on the second day and had Australia reeling at 126 for six before he finished with six wickets for 80 runs after bowling 33 overs.


magnificent delivery


He not only dismissed Clarke but he also dismissed Stephen Smith in removing Australia's two finest players of spin. On top of that, Bishoo removed the dangerous Brad Haddin with a magnificent delivery, one that pitched in line with the leg stump and hit the top of the off-stump.

The other performance to remember was that of Adam Voges.

A 35 nearly 36-year-old debutante and a man who came into his first Test match after playing 160 first-class matches and scoring 10,834 runs with 25 centuries went to bat at 61 for three late on the first day with Australia in some trouble and when he walked off the field at the end of Australia's innings, he had scored 130 not out after batting for 332 minutes, facing 247 deliveries, and stroking 13 fours and hitting one glorious six.

In his long, determined stay at the wicket, Voges not only posted 97 off 29 overs for the last wicket with Joss Hazlewood, but he also joined the list of "immortals", the cherished list of batsmen who have scored a century in their first Test match.