Australia crush West Indies by 164 runs in Perth Test
Marnus Labuschagne was the hero for Australia with centuries in both innings as the home team hammered the West Indies by a huge margin of 164 runs to take an unassailable lead of 1-0 in their two-match series for the Frank Worrell Trophy, in the first Test played at the Optus Stadium in Perth.
Marnus Labuschagne slammed scores of 204 and 104 not out — his 9th and 10th career Test centuries — and put on a batting masterclass in the company of Steve Smith, who himself looked in his elements to notch up a double century. The Australian vice-captain, who stood in for the injured Pat Cummins on the final day, slammed 200 to announce his form in Test cricket with plenty of action lined up.
Australia’s decision to bat first after winning the toss and despite losing David Warner, showed no mercy against the West Indies bowlers. Australia opener Usman Khawaja made 65 but number three batsman scored 204 from 350 balls with 20 boundaries and a 6 to announce his form in the format.
Australia batsmen forged partnerships throughout their innings to pile on a huge score of 598/6 declared against the West Indies. After their opening partnership between David Warner and broken early, the pair of Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne got together to add 142 runs for the second wicket and provide their side with a strong platform.
After their partnership was broken with Usman Khawaja dismissed for 65, the two right-handers in Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith teamed up for a humongous stand for the third wicket. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne added 251 runs for the third wicket from just 319 deliveries, taking Australia to a commanding position in the contest.
Travis Head was unfortunate to have missed out on a century as he was dismissed for 99 but Australia’s total was far too big for the West Indies to overcome. The Caribbean batsmen showed remarkable application and discipline to their credit, but could manage only 283 while conceding a huge lead of 315 runs in the first innings.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite top scored with 64 from 166 balls while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul made 51 from 79, striking 7 fours and a six to announce his arrival in the conventional format on a promising note.
White having enough lead in the bank in the first innings, Australia did not impose a follow-on and added another 182 runs at the loss of two wickets in the second innings, with scoring more than half of them. The right-handed Marnus Labuschagne remained unbeaten 104 from 110 balls with 13 fours and two sixes, with David Warner also signalling reform with a fine 71 ball 48 which came with the help of 5 boundaries.
West Indies were set a target of 497 to win, something which was beyond their reach but inside did not throw in the towel just yet. West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite responded with a fine century for himself, scoring 110 from 188 balls but the Australian bowlers kept chipping away with wickets from the other end.
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon finished with 42.5-10-128-6, whereas Travis Head claimed 2 wickets and fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood claimed 1 wicket each.
The West Indies were bowled out for 333 in their second innings, with Australia recording a big win by 164 runs. The second and final Test between these two former rivals will now be played from December 8-12 at the Adelaide Oval.