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Debutant Joseph Shines as Smith and Labuschagne Dismissed After West Indies’ Struggle to 188

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ADELAIDE: Injecting a ray of hope, debutant Shamar Joseph claimed two crucial top-order wickets for the West Indies as Australia began their reply to the tourists’ first-innings total of 188 in the opening Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.

At stumps, Australia stood at 59-2, with Usman Khawaja holding firm at 30 not out and Cameron Green contributing six runs. Despite being just 129 runs behind, the dismissals of key batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne had them back in the pavilion, setting the stage for an intriguing continuation of the Test match.

In the initial proceedings, Australian captain Pat Cummins, opting to field on a cool and overcast morning, witnessed success as the West Indies struggled to 133-9.

However, Shamar Joseph, in only his sixth first-class match, infused some resilience into the innings with a brisk 36 off just 41 balls.

The defining moment arrived for the 24-year-old when he entered as the first change bowler, dismissing Australian captain Steve Smith with his inaugural delivery in Test cricket. Notably, it was Smith’s first appearance at the top of the order since taking over from the now-retired David Warner.

Joseph’s impact continued as he claimed the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne, caught on the hook by Gudakesh Motie at deep fine leg, leaving Australia at 45-2.

The West Indies could have further capitalized on their performance if wicket-keeper Josh Da Silva had not dropped Usman Khawaja at one, a missed opportunity that could have altered the course of the innings.

Earlier, Josh Hazlewood played a pivotal role, taking 4-44, including his 250th Test wicket, and Cummins contributed with 4-41, as Australia swiftly dismantled the West Indies’ batting lineup.

West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul adopted a cautious approach, choosing to be selective in their shot-making during the initial phase.

Captain Pat Cummins introduced himself into the attack in the 10th over, and his immediate impact was evident as a well-pitched delivery lured Chanderpaul into an expansive drive, resulting in a comfortable catch at gully by Cameron Green.

Cummins continued his impressive spell by dismissing Brathwaite, leaving the West Indies at 27-2 within the first hour of play.

Alick Athanaze and Kirk McKenzie then provided some stability, attempting to guide the West Indies to lunch with only two wickets down. However, at a score of 52, Athanaze’s decision to leave a delivery from Josh Hazlewood backfired, crashing into his off stump.

Hazlewood’s dominance extended post-lunch, claiming the wickets of Kavem Hodge (12), McKenzie (50), and Justin Greaves (5), leaving the West Indies struggling at 108-6.

The situation worsened for the West Indies as Cummins dismissed Joshua Da Silva at deep square leg for six, and shortly after, they lost both Gudakesh Motie and Alzarri Joseph.

In a commendable display, Shamar Joseph emerged as the savior, fearlessly achieving his highest first-class score with support from Kemar Roach.

Facing the challenge, the West Indies sought an early breakthrough, putting aside the missed opportunity of dropping Usman Khawaja. They managed a crucial breakthrough by dismissing Steve Smith. Although nerves crept in when Marnus Labuschagne fell, Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green guided the home side safely to stumps.

Scoreboard

WEST INDIES (1st Innings):

K. Brathwaite b Cummins 13
T. Chanderpaul c Green b Cummins 6
K. McKenzie c Carey b Hazlewood 50
A. Athanaze b Hazlewood 13
K. Hodge c Green b Hazlewood 12
J. Greaves c Labuschagne b Hazlewood 5
J. Da Silva c Head b Cummins 6
A. Joseph c Smith b Cummins 14
G. Motie c Lyon b Starc 1
K. Roach not out 17
S. Joseph lbw Lyon 36

EXTRAS (B-12, LB-1, W-2) 15

TOTAL (all out, 62.1 overs) 188

FALL OF WICKETS:

1-14 (Chanderpaul), 2-27 (Brathwaite), 3-52 (Athanaze), 4-98 (Hodge), 5-107 (McKenzie), 6-108 (Greaves), 7-132 (Da Silva), 8-133 (Motie), 9-133 (A. Joseph)

BOWLING:

Starc 12-5-37-1 (1w); Hazlewood 15-6-44-4; Cummins 17-5-41-4; Lyon 12.1-2-36-1; Marsh 2-1-5-0; Green 4-1-12-0

AUSTRALIA (1st Innings):

S. Smith c Greaves b S. Joseph 12
U. Khawaja not out 30
M. Labuschagne c Motie b S. Joseph 10
C. Green not out 6

EXTRAS (NB-1) 1

TOTAL (for two wickets, 21 overs) 59

FALL OF WICKETS:

1-25 (Smith), 2-45 (Labuschagne)

BOWLING:

Roach 7-2-21-0; A. Joseph 7-0-19-0 (1nb); S. Joseph 6-1-18-2; Motie 1-0-1-0

UMPIRES:

Adrian Goldstock (South Africa), Nitin Menon (India)

TV UMPIRE:

Sharfuddoula (Bangladesh)

MATCH REFEREE:

Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)

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