Australia are in the box seat front right now as they’re just six wickets away from winning this day/night Test match with one day to spare on 38-4, while West Indies would need a big miracle of 459 runs between now & end of tomorrow to meet that 497 run target.
They got the ball rolling after a few early wickets from Day 2 on 102-4 – including that run out – when Anderson Phillip sent Tagenarine Chanderpaul the other way round before Mitchell Starc directly threw onto the stumps m. Although nightwatchman Anderson Phillip & later Roston Chase frustrated them at times with really good scores from those who usually bat down the tail end of both 43 & 34 respectively, but it’s the Aussies took their time well thanks to their hefty lead & Starc’s stunning displays as of late, before they bowled WI all out for 214.
Then Australia bat again with a 330 run advantage where Usman Khawaja once again fired off well with another good score of 45. Meanwhile, Dave Warner scored poorly again on 21 when he reached out for the ball before it clipped onto leg stump; time will tell if this Test summer will be one his last outings before looking to solely focus on T20 cricket including the Big Bash. After R. Chase nailed both openers, Australia continued to pile more runs as they can before they declared on 199-6 that sets up a huge 497 run target for WI, while Alzarri Joseph claimed three more wickets with the ball off Steve Smith, Cam Green & Alex Carey.
And we round off Day 3 under lights when Australia got away with more early wickets thanks to Scott Boland. His bowling was really fiery in the middle that made the Windies batters hesitate when trying to hit the ball; that approach reflected his wicket-maiden spell of three wickets in one over – including a miracle caught behind review on the first scalp on Jermaine Blackwood where it tagged the edge of the bat before it travelled through straight to Carey’s gloves which is sensational.
Plus, Starc capped off his brilliant day yesterday on the field with another wicket in this 4th innings spell so far following another successful DRS review when T. Chanderpaul was caught behind by Carey on 17. Now Australia got this to finish off the weekend on a high with a 2-0 clean-sweep, having already retained the series last Sunday in Perth.
And how good is it to wrap up a 2-0 whitewash from the Aussies, having got the job done just within a whole morning session on Day 4 with a 419 run victory, as the West Indies are all out for a mere 77 here at Adelaide Oval.
Good to see Mitchell Starc pick up two more wickets on Devon Thomas & Jason Holder that kickstarted the fourth day’s play after a string of outstanding displays throughout Day 3 yesterday, such as that direct hit on Tagenarine Chanderpaul followed by a late wicket in this final innings not long before stumps time.
Then Michael Neser roped in late to wrap all things up for the Aussies who came in for the injured skipper Pat Cummins. He too bowled really well with a particular focus on a straight line and length, where Neser married up his finishing before all three batters were caught behind off the edge/knick of the bat onto Alex Carey’s gloves.
And speaking of Carey, not only he was brilliant behind the stumps with his catching but can also bat a bit with runs as well. Plus, he wouldn’t mind keeping from close range when Neser bowled mediums to him a while ago, as Carey collected a whopping six catches being made in this final innings haul alone.
Gotta say that Australia has plenty of talent to unleash in their arsenal, even though they had to replace Cummins & Josh Hazlewood with Neser & Scott Boland in this Test due to injury. While Marnus Labuschagne & Alex Carey have proved themselves in respective spots at 3 & 7, we’ll wait & see if Travis Head can keep his form up after an unreal 1st innings display of 175 in front of his hometown crowd; And all eyes on Dave Warner if he can get back on track, especially when facing the third best side in the Proteas after a string of sub-par spells with the bat lately.
For now, bring on the Proteas with the next three-match Test series starting this Saturday at The Gabba in Brisbane.