Battling collapse sends Windies to heavy defeat vs Australia

Roseau (Dominica), June 6 (IANS) Inept batting took the gloss off defiant half-centuries from Marlon Samuels and Shane Dowrich and sent the West Indies crashing to a chastening nine-wicket defeat inside three days in the opening Test against Australia here Friday.

Mounting an admirable fightback at 181 for three before tea after resuming the day on 25 for two, the West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 35 runs to be all out for 216, half-hour before the scheduled close at Windsor Park, reports CMC.

Samuels top-scored with 74 and the debutant Dowrich got 70, in an excellent 144-run fourth wicket stand which dug their side out of a hole after Darren Bravo perished for five in the sixth over of the morning to leave the hosts tottering on 37 for three.

The right-handed Samuels faced 184 balls in just under 4-1/4 hours at the crease and struck seven fours and a six while Dowrich, also a right-hander, carved out five fours and a six in an innings lasting 150 minutes and 185 deliveries.

However, once Dowrich lost concentration and fell nine minutes before tea, the West Indies suffered a rapid decline, collapsing from 189 for four at the break and leaving the Aussies with just 47 runs to get for victory.

Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc captured four for 28 while pacer Josh Hazlewood (2-17), left-armer Mitchell Johnson (2-38) and off-spinner Nathan Lyon (2-67) picked up two wickets each.

Big-hitting left-hander David Warner promptly set about the Windies bowling with relish, smashing three fours and two sixes in 28 off 20 deliveries, to propel the visitors to their target in just five overs.

His dismissal, caught at first slip by Bravo off Taylor, was purely academic as Steve Smith arrived to gather the winning runs, working the same bowler into the onside for a single to give the Aussies a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

For the second time in the game, the Windies’ brittle batting was laid bare, though for the better part of two sessions, they took the fight to the Aussies through Samuels and Dowrich.

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