AUS vs WI: Head, Hazlewood star as Australia blows West Indies away in Adelaide

In a riveting display, Australia claimed a 1-0 lead by winning the first Test against the West Indies by ten wickets before lunch on Day 3 at the iconic Adelaide Oval. Chasing just 26 for victory in the fourth innings, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne successfully wrapped up the proceedings after Usman Khawaja retired hurt earlier on.

Debutant Shamar Joseph was introduced in the fifth over of the final innings with Australia requiring 14 to cross the line. On Joseph’s first delivery, Khawaja executed a cut to the boundary, taking advantage of a short and wide delivery. The right-arm fast-medium bowler came in again in the seventh over and unleashed an uncomfortable bouncer that struck Khawaja’s helmet near the jaw area as he attempted to evade it. Khawaja, spitting blood, left the field, leaving Labuschagne to score the winning runs.

Starting the third day 22 runs behind with four wickets remaining. Shamar Joseph once again exhibited his batting skills at No. 11 in the second innings. Earlier, he had partnered with Kemar Roach to build a 55-run last-wicket stand in the opening innings after West Indies were put in to bat first.

Earlier on Day 1, the reigning World Test champions Australia delivered a top-notch performance against the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side. Captain Pat Cummins and right-armer Josh Hazlewood led the pace attack, with each claiming four wickets. The West Indies innings concluded at 188, with Kirk McKenzie being the sole standout for the visitors, achieving a half-century off just 94 deliveries.

On the other hand, Steven Smith’s debut as an opener didn’t live up to expectations as he was dismissed by Shamar Joseph for a below-par 12 runs. Making a memorable debut, Joseph continued his impact by claiming four more wickets in the second innings. A dominant performance from Travis Head, smashing 119 runs off 134 deliveries, propelled Australia to a total of 283. Meanwhile, on Day 2, Josh Hazlewood showcased his bowling prowess, achieving career-best figures of 5/13 and placing Australia in a commanding position. The win is poised to enhance Australia’s standing at the top of the WTC 2023-25 points table.