Australia in commanding position against West Indies as Cummins reaches 200 wickets

By Sports Desk December 02, 2022

Australia will take a big lead into day four of the first Test against West Indies after a dominant final session on Friday at Optus Stadium.

Pat Cummins (3-34) and Mitchell Starc (3-51) did most of the damage as Australia dismissed the tourists for 283, before finishing on 29-1 in their second innings to establish an overnight advantage of 344 runs.

Debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul was at least able to reach his half-century before edging Josh Hazlewood to David Warner for 51, before Nkumrah Bonner retired hurt on 16 after taking a Cameron Green delivery to the head.

Australia struggled to get rid of West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite (64) until he was bowled by a terrific delivery from his opposite number Cummins to bring up his 200th Test wicket.

Starc dismissed Kyle Mayers (1) and Jermaine Blackwood (36) either side of Nathan Lyon getting rid of Jason Holder (27), before Starc had Joshua Da Silva out for a duck with a delivery that swung back spectacularly into the stumps.

Australia cleared up the tail with minimum fuss to leave the hosts heading into their second innings with a big advantage.

Warner began aggressively but almost paid the price as he was nearly run out on 13, though Usman Khawaja (6) was heading back to the pavilion soon after when a nothing shot at a Kemar Roach ball was edged through to Da Silva.

Warner (17 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (3 not out) saw Australia through to the close and will be confident of building an even bigger lead on the penultimate day in Perth.

200 up for Cummins, Lyon also reaches landmark

It was a fitting way for Cummins to reach 200 wickets, emphatically dismissing his fellow skipper. In his 44th Test, he became the fifth-fastest Australian to 200 behind only Clarrie Grimmett (36), Dennis Lillee (38), Stuart MacGill (41) and Shane Warne (42).

Lyon also had reason to celebrate as his 2-61 took him past Dale Steyn on the all-time Test wicket-taker list, moving up to ninth place on 440, just two behind Ravichandran Ashwin.

West Indies allow faint hope to fade further

It is never easy replying to such a mammoth first innings score, with Australia posting 598-4 dec, but the tourists were ticking along nicely, reaching tea on day three on 237-4.

However, they collapsed once Starc started to wobble them, adding just 46 for their final six wickets.

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