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West Indies Tour of Australia; Lyon adds six to his remarkable Perth record to claim win

Dec 5, 2022

Although Travis Head took several useful wickets, West Indies’ lower order made the home team fight hard for the victory.

Lyon shone with 6 for 128 from 42.5 overs, looming as the attack’s talisman in the absence of Cummins, who entered the field on day five but did not bowl because to quadricep pain. Late in the second session, he took the final two wickets in quick succession to help Australia win the first game of the series.

Lyon, who had claimed the crucial wicket of skipper Kraigg Brathwaite in the opening session, destroyed West Indies, who were playing their first Test in Australia since January 2016. He kept up his impressive performance at Optus Stadium, where he has now claimed 22 wickets from three Tests.

Soon after lunch, Australia appeared to have the game in the bag, but Roston Chase and Alzarri Joseph made them work for it by combining for an inventive 82-run eighth combination.

In spite of Australia looking lifeless without Cummins, they swung ferociously to muck up Lyon’s statistics and propel West Indies past 300 runs.

Perhaps Australia began to reflect on their recent failure to finish out the opponent in the fourth innings. However, Travis Head’s occasional spin, which he used to dismiss Jason Holder earlier, worked and he bowled Joseph to end the annoying stand.

Prior to the day-night second Test beginning on Thursday at Adelaide Oval, Cummins did not bowl, raising concerns over his availability. Cummins was on the field but appeared to move gingerly at one stage in a pursuit to the boundary, just as he did late on day four after beginning the innings in the dressing room.

West Indies’ hopes rested on Brathwaite, who batted through two sessions on day four, as they began day five at 192 for 3 and in need of 306 runs for an improbable victory.

Nevertheless, despite their best efforts, the mission ended up being too onerous. After escaping Lyon’s lbw shout, Kyle Mayers had a lucky escape, as replays later revealed that he had inside edged to silly point.

When Mayers tipped a good-length delivery to first slip, Lyon had the final laugh. With his 443rd Test wicket, Lyon surpassed fellow off-spinner R Ashwin and climbed to seventh place on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers.

Late in day four, after batting aggressively, Brathwaite switched back to his usual defensive strategy in an effort to stave off Australia’s assault. Brathwaite successfully collared Lyon the day before, notably by negating the bounce with excellent sweeps. He then launched a brash counterattack with a score over long on.

However, Brathwaite’s outstanding performance was cut short when Lyon bowled him, and West Indies’ slim hopes of avoiding defeat vanished with him. As he hobbled off the field, the few spectators who had paid the day’s gold coin entry fee applauded him loudly.

Following Brathwaite’s dismissal, Jason Holder tried to stall but failed and was quickly bowled by Travis Head after Steven Smith made a spectacular diving catch at slip. 

It was not long before Australia would win the match.

Top hitter Nkrumah Bonner was forced to leave the game on day three due to a concussion after being struck in the back of the helmet by a short delivery from Green.

There was little excitement in the lead-up, and just approximately 40,000 people showed out for the game. There was not any overt hostility toward the Australian squad, despite the anticipation of how local supporters would respond to the consequences of ex-coach Justin Langer’s recent provocative interview.

After a challenging recent period both on and off the field, Australia ultimately made a great start to the Test season despite being pushed probably longer than expected.

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