Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head Put Australia In Command Against West Indies

An inspired spell of bowling from Josh Hazlewood and a brilliant attacking century from Travis Head put Australia in complete control of the first Test against the West Indies in Adelaide on Thursday. After Head smashed 119 from 134 balls to take Australia to 283 and a first-innings lead of 95, Hazlewood took four wickets for just two runs at the start of the West Indies second innings to deal a hammer blow to the visitors. At stumps on the second day, the West Indies were 73-6, still 22 runs from making Australia bat again. Joshua Da Silva was not out 17, with Justin Greaves dismissed off the last ball of the day’s play.

Hazlewood removed the top four West Indies batsmen in a superb spell of seam bowling. 

He dismissed Tagenarine Chanderpaul for a first ball duck, then in his next over he had captain Kraigg Brathwaite caught by Head at a deepish short leg.

The West Indies were 7-3 when Alick Athanaze gloved a bouncer to keeper Alex Carey, then 19-4 when Kavem Hodge edged to Steve Smith at second slip.

Kirk McKenzie and Greaves tried to rebuild the innings and took the score to 40 before McKenzie tried an expansive drive off Cameron Green, only to spoon the ball to Marnus Labuschagne at short cover.

Greaves and Da Silva batted sensibly and looked certain to take the West Indies safely to stumps, only for off-spinner Nathan Lyon to trap Greaves lbw for 24.

West Indies coach Andre Coley said his young side had to adapt to Australian conditions.

“The pitches here have been very good, very different to back home, so our intent to score has always been evident,” he said.

“But that has to be matched with decision-making. With more bounce the ability to leave the ball more consistently has to be part of your repertoire.”

On a pitch that troubled every other batsman, Head seemed to be playing on a different surface, bringing up his seventh Test century with a glorious cover drive to the boundary.

He eventually fell after making a brisk century, caught brilliantly on the boundary by Kavem Hodge off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph, but by then the damage had been done and Australia were firmly in control.

The Australians were expected to dominate a below-strength West Indies, who have three players on debut in this match.

But led by exciting newcomer Shamar Joseph, the visitors took regular wickets throughout the first two sessions to initially keep the Australians on the back foot.

Joseph, playing only his sixth first class match, ended with 5-94 in a magnificent Test debut.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Joseph said. “It brings tears to my eyes knowing that I’m on this big stage and taking a five-wicket haul in Australia means a lot to me.

“It’s amazing. I’m just sticking to the basics and enjoying it.” 

Australia had reshuffled their batting order on the retirement of David Warner, moving Steve Smith to opener so they could bring Green back into the side.

The first part of that experiment failed when Smith fell for 12 on Wednesday, so the Australians would have been hoping for big runs from the towering Green.

But he was gone for 14 in just the second over on Thursday morning, caught by wicketkeeper Da Silva off Shamar Joseph to leave the Australians 67-3.

All the batsmen struggled with the slow pace and variable bounce of the wicket but Head rode his luck, his typically counter-attacking century included 12 fours and three sixes and proved the difference between the two sides. 

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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