Australia power to emphatic innings victory
Australia romped to their seventh-biggest win ever inside three days in Hobart, trouncing the hapless West Indies by an innings and 212 runs. Resuming on 6/207, the tourists’ first innings was all over for just 223 – a deficit of 360 runs. Darren Bravo’s 108 was the only shining light, while Josh Hazlewood finished with 4/45, while Nathan Lyon claimed 3/43.
The Windies’ follow-on effort was even more diabolical, all out for a paltry 148 in just 36.3 overs. Incredibly, 23-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite accounted for 94 of those runs, blasting 13 fours and a six in his admirable 122-ball innings. But the rest of the top six fell for four runs or less, with captain Jason Holder the next highest scorer with just 17. James Pattinson marked his return to the Test arena with 5/27 off eight overs and Hazlewood nabbed another three scalps as the match wrapped up before tea.
Windies hit all-time low
It was the West Indies’ fifth-biggest defeat in their Test history, but rarely has the Caribbean outfit’s prospects of improvement seemed less bleak. An insipid day and a half of bowling was followed by some of the poorest batting seen at this level in some time, with only four players achieving a score of 20-plus runs. Enthusiasm for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and the New Year’s Test at the SCG is difficult to muster given the diabolical standard of Australia’s opposition.
Veteran batsman Marlon Samuels is under fire for his lacklustre return of 9 and 3, while the 34-year-old has also been banned for bowling in international matches for 12 months by the ICC after being found guilty of an illegal action in October’s series against Sri Lanka.
— ECB (@ECB_cricket) December 13, 2015
Stud of the day
Standing in for pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson performed superbly after going wicketless in the Windies’ first dig. The Victorian quick ripped through the top order to leave the tourists floundering at 4/24 in the eighth over in their second innings, before returning to remove Holder and clinch his fourth five-for in Tests.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 13, 2015
Marsh provides selection dilemma
Joe Burns or Shaun Marsh? That’s the question facing selectors as Usman Khawaja shapes up for a Boxing Day return from injury. Opener Burns’ summer started superbly with 71 and 129 in the first Test against New Zealand, but he has managed only scores of 40, 0, 14, 11 and 33 since. The enigmatic Marsh’s blistering 182 at No.4 against the Windies has prompted some to suggest the veteran could be bumped up to open the innings with David Warner at Burns’ expense when Khawaja comes back. If it was our call, Burns would keep his spot – the 26-year-old is a long-term prospect for the Australian side. As good as the 32-year-old Marsh’s career-best knock was, he is yet to prove he is a reliable proposition at Test level, particularly in the opener’s role.
- Pattinson is the only fast bowler to notch two Test five-fors in Hobart.
- Brathwaite scored 63.51% of the Windies’ runs in their second innings – the fourth-highest in a completed innings in Test history behind Australians Charles Bannerman (in the inaugural 1877 Test against England) and Michael Slater, and Indian great VVS Laxman.
- Australia’s innings victory was their biggest on home soil since thumping New Zealand by an innings and 222 runs at the same venue in 1993.
Around the world
The first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Dunedin is set for an enthralling final day, with the tourists needing another 296 runs for victory and the Kiwis requiring seven wickets to go one up. Crafting a first-innings lead of 137 after dismissing Sri Lanka for 294, the Black Caps declared at 3/267 following a splendid 109 by opener Tom Latham and yet another wonderful knock by Kane Williamson, who made 71. Chasing 405, the visitors grinded their way to 3/109 on a rain-interrupted Day 4, with Dinesh Chandimal (31 not out) and Angelo Matthews (0 not out) to resume on Monday morning.