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Vintage Voges leaves Windies in pain

Thursday, June 4, 2015
There are 365 rivers in Dominica and just as they ran down the hills, so did the first Test match of the Sir Frank Worrell series run away from the home team, as Australia was poised to take the lead at the end of the second day’s play at Windsor Park.

After bowling out the West Indies for a paltry 148 in their first innings, the visitors on the back of a debut Test century from Adam Voges, finished on 318 all out. West Indies batting a second time made sure that the efforts of leg spinner Devendra Bishoo 6/80 went in vain, as they closed on 25 for two.

The openers Kraigg Brathwaite (15) and Shai Hope (2) will play no further part in this match with their bats, as they were sent packing by the Australian new ball pair of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc. When play resumes this morning with the West Indies still 145 runs in the red, Darren Bravo and Shane Dowrich will be in the firing line.

Earlier, Australia resumed on the bedtime position of 85 for three and the West Indies immediately started to put the squeeze on them. Bishoo started the day by bowling 16 dot balls as he was on cue from the get go.

The score inched along to 97 before the Guyanese got rid of the stubborn Steve Smith. After spending 156 minutes at the wicket, he missed his 90th ball, only for Denesh Ramdin to neatly disturbed his stumps. His contribution of 25 was worth much more than that given the context in which it was scored.

Soon after, Bishoo was in the act again, as he had Shane Watson caught by Marlon Samuels for 11. Brad Haddin came in and looked positive but then received a ripper that past his defensive prod on its way to timber. The dismissal brought back memories of the ‘Ball from hell’ that Shane Warne delivered to Mike Gatting in England. Ironically yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of that event.

While the wickets fell Voges stood firm and together with Johnson took the score to 163/6 when the lunch van pulled up.

After the break, Bishoo who grabbed 10 wickets here in the WICB PCL,  continued to probe and finally got rid off Johnson, ending a 52-run seventh wicket partnership. Johnson who had curbed his natural aggression made 20 in 73 minutes off 59 balls. Two balls later Bishoo sent back Starc for a duck and Australia slipped to 178/8. The dismissal took Bishoo to 50 in Test cricket and he became only the second West Indian after David Holford to reach the mark.  

Voges was intent in making the most of his debut and he was able to coax 140 runs from the next two batsmen. The man who had waited 160 First Class matches to make his Test debut marked a significant moment in his life at 2.44pm yesterday when he raised his bat as Australia’s latest centurion on debut. Of the 20 men who had done it for the Aussies before, four of them were actually at the ground to witness the feat. Captain Michael Clarke, opener Shaun Marsh, selector Mark Waugh and former middle order batsman Greg Blewett all had the feeling before.

The West Australian Voges took the match away from the West Indies with a last wicket partnership of 97 runs with Josh Hazlewood. Voges ended with an unbeaten 130 of 247 balls with 13 fours and a six, while Hazlewood made 39, his first dismissal in Tests off 87 balls with five fours and a six.



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