PERTH: Spin king Nathan Lyon bagged six wickets, including century-maker Kraigg Brathwaite, as Australia ground down a gutsy West Indies to win the first Test in Perth by 164 runs on Sunday.
Skipper Brathwaite, who took the match into a final day with a defiant overnight 101 after Australia declared their second innings at 182-2 on day four, couldn’t keep the momentum going against Lyon and was bowled for 110.
The Caribbean team resumed on 192-3, needing to bat through 90 overs for a draw after gamely rebuffing an attack missing the injured Pat Cummins for two sessions on Saturday.
But they were all out for 333 after some plucky late resistance.
Lyon ended with 6-128, in the process surpassing India’s Ravichandran Ashwin to become the eighth-highest wicket-taker in Test history with 446.
Cummins, who laboured in the field, elected not to bowl due to quad soreness said, “(It’s) just a small strain, normally about a one-weeker. If you bowl it could make it worse and make it longer,” Cummins told reporters. “I’ve got to probably prove myself and have at least one bowl”, Cummins said about his preparation for the day-night Test in Adelaide. “I’m not too bothered but hopefully I pass the fitness test and I’m good to go.”
He returned late on day four, but limited himself to fielding.
Kyle Mayers, who has been ruled out of any further bowling in the two-Test series with a shoulder strain, added just 10 runs to his overnight nought.
Lyon made the breakthrough, with Mayers getting a thick edge to Steve Smith at slip.
Lyon, playing his 111th Test, struck again as he cleaned up Brathwaite on 212. Travis Head in his first over accounted for Jason Holder (3), with Smith taking a spectacular slip catch.
When Australia took the new ball, Josh Hazlewood enticed an outside edge from Joshua Da Silva which Usman Khawaja collected at slip.
But Rostan Chase and Alzarri Joseph stood firm and added 82 for the eighth wicket before Head stepped up again to bowl Joseph.
Lyon took his fifth to remove Chase for a battling 55, then Kemar Roach for a duck to wrap it up.
AUSTRALIA (1st Innings) 598-4 decl
WEST INDIES (1st Innings) 283
AUSTRALIA (2nd Innings) 182-2 decl
WEST INDIES (2nd Innings, overnight 192-3):
K. Brathwaite b Lyon 110
T. Chanderpaul b Starc 45
S. Brooks c Smith b Lyon 11
J. Blackwood c Labuschagne b Lyon 24
K. Mayers c Smith b Lyon 10
J. Holder c Smith b Head 3
J. Da Silva c Khawaja b Hazlewood 12
R. Chase c Starc b Lyon 55
A. Joseph b Head 43
J. Seales not out 5
K. Roach b Lyon 0
EXTRAS (LB-7, B-2, NB-6) 15
TOTAL (all out, 110.5 overs) 333
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-116 (Chanderpaul), 2-133 (Brooks), 3-191 (Blackwood), 4-207 (Mayers), 5-212 (Brathwaite), 6-216 (Holder), 7-233 (Da Silva), 8-315 (Joseph), 9-333 (Chase)
BOWLING: Starc 23-4-65-1, Hazlewood 22-8-52-1 (1nb), Lyon 42.5-10-128-6, Green 13-2-45-0 (2nb), Labuschagne 2-0-9-0 (3nb), Head 8-1-25-2
RESULT: Australia won by 164 runs.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2022