Lyon's six-wicket haul roars Australia into 1-0 lead with final-day victory over West Indies

By Sports Desk December 04, 2022

Nathan Lyon has bowled Australia to a 164-run victory over the West Indies with a fourth-innings six-wicket haul in the first Test in Perth on Sunday.

The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

But Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase put together a stubborn 82-run eighth-wicket partnership which ensured Australia were made to work for their victory. 

Head clean bowled Joseph, who belted three sixes in his 43, on the delivery after wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped a tough chance, before Lyon dismissed Chase for 55 and Kemar Roach in successive balls.

Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

Lyon brings it home for Australia

Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

Positives for West Indies

Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

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