PERTH: Offspinner Nathan Lyon bowled Australia to a 164-run win in the opening cricket Test against the West Indies to retain the Frank Worrell Trophy at the Perth Stadium on Sunday.
Lyon claimed 6-128 as the West Indies were all out for 333 before tea on the final day. It was Lyon’s 21st five-wicket haul in his 111th Test.
Lyon’s 446 Test wickets tally has moved him to eighth amongst all-time wicket-takers and behind fellow Australians Shane Warne (708 wickets in 145 Tests) and Glenn McGrath (563 in 124) who are second and sixth respectively.
“Lyon loves bowling here and it was a fantastic all-round performance,” captain Pat Cummins said. “(He) was fantastic. There was not a lot on offer, but he still found a way.”
Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite top scored for the visitors with an obdurate 110, and a late order rally by Roston Chase and Alzarri Joseph prevented a capitulation that had looked likely after the visitors slumped to 233-7 in the space of 17 overs in the morning.
A stubborn 82-run stand for the eighth wicket between Chase (55) and Joseph (43) delayed the inevitable for 1 ½ hrs on both sides of the lunch break.
Part-time offspinner Travis Head provided the breakthrough when he bowled Joseph.
Resuming on 257-7 after the lunch break the West Indies batted for another 85 minutes before Lyon had Chase caught by Mitchell Starc in the outfield, and bowled No11 Kemar Roach (0) with his next ball.
Chase hit a six and three fours off 72 balls in occupying the crease in two frustrating hours for the Australians, who were without Pat Cummins in its bowling attack due to the skipper's thigh complaint preventing him from taking the ball.
“I’ll be fit for Adelaide. I had a tight quad,” Cummins said. “Obviously, I have to go through a fitness test, and a bowling session, but I am good to go.”
Earlier, West Indies lost the overnight pair of Brathwaite and Kyle Mayers (10) in the first hour of the day and managed only 24 runs in 15 overs as Australia strangled West Indies’ progress.
After Mayers had edged a Lyon delivery that spun across him to Steve Smith at slip, the spinner got a delivery to turn sharply and beat Brathwaite all-ends-up to claim the prized-wicket.
Brathwaite had defied Australia’s vaunted bowling attack for just over five hours in scoring his 11th Test ton in 80 appearances and hit 14 boundaries off 188 balls.
Jason Holder (3) went for a big drive and edged to Smith at slip, who took a brilliant catch off part-time spinner Head (2-25), tumbling to his left as the West Indies resistance nose-dived.
West Indies, once the powerhouse of world cricket, have not beaten Australia in 12 Tests since beating Steve Waugh’s side in the fourth Test of a dead-rubber under the captaincy of Brian Lara in Antigua in May 2003.
Man-of-the match Marnus Labuschagne scored 204 in Australia’s first innings of 598-4 declared and then an unbeaten 104 not out in the second innings, the first Australian to score a double-hundred and a century in the same match since Greg Chappell in 1974.