West Indies resumed on 193-2 with 306 runs left to win following a magnificent knock yesterday from the main man Kraigg Braithwaite while Australia just need eight wickets to go 1-0 up & retain the series trophy, with just a full day’s play left to go on Day 5 of the opening Test match here at Optus Stadium in Perth.
Australia got away with early wickets on the board spearheaded by Nathan Lyon when not only he clean bowled the dangerous K. Braithwaite through the stumps on 110 – but a good restart also helped them dismantle the Windies middle order – with credit from Steve Smith who’s excellent with catching & diving up close using these soft hands at the slips area.
Then the West Indies still has plenty to offer following the lunch break on 258-7 – when the lower order pair of Roston Chase (spinning all-rounder) & Alzarri Joseph (seamer) began to smack a couple of incredible shots immediately downtown that added more runs on the board between them while shaving off their team’s huge run trail at the same time. Sadly, they couldn’t hold on for much longer with time running out against them when there’s only two more players left to bat from the tail end.
Roston may have got his quickfire 50, but Alzarri didn’t get past 43 when that unreal partnership was stopped by Travis Head through the gate – before Lyon came back once more to finish off the damage – including Chase on 55 & a first-ball duck from Kemar Roach – that sealed both his six-wicket haul & the win for Australia by 164 runs. The home side will now head to Adelaide Oval alongside the series win at 1-0 with one Test match to spare v WI, before South Africa fly here for three more Tests later this month.
Wow!! Five days of Test Cricket where we saw so much competition from both teams with the bat. However, Australia’s all-round performance – such as Marnus Labuschagne’s back-to-back hundreds, as well as Steve Smith, Travis Head & Spinner Nathan Lyon – have put themselves further ahead in which was enough to finish off first with some energy left in the tank. Can’t wait for the Day-Night test starting on Thursday.