Roseau, Dominica: Adam Voges made his belated Test debut a memorable occasion with a composed, unbeaten hundred which put Australia in command at stumps on the second day of the first Test against West Indies in Dominica on Thursday.
Australia's Adam Voges (L) celebrates with teammate Josh Hazlewood after scoring his 100th run during play on the second day of the first cricket Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Windsor Park Stadium in Roseau, Dominica. Pic/AFP
His 130 not out proved the cornerstone of Australia's revival to 318 all out in their first innings at the Windsor Park Stadium after leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo had reduced them to 126 for six in mid-afternoon replying to the home side's first day total of 148. Deflated by their opponents' rearguard which saw 192 runs added for the last four wickets, the West Indies lost both openers -- Kraigg Braithwaite and Shai Hope -- in stumbling to 25 for two in their second innings at the close, still trailing by 145 runs going into day three.
Bishoo finished with career-best Test figures of six for 80, along the way becoming only the second West Indies leg-spinner to reach 50 wickets in Test cricket. However his effectiveness in the latter stages of the Australian rearguard was reduced by the recurrence of a finger injury to his bowling hand, causing him to leave the field for treatment on two occasions. Voges, at 35 years and 243 days the oldest player ever to score a hundred in his first Test match, was already causing the Caribbean side considerable discomfort after the morning and early-afternoon clatter of wickets.
He reached his half-century in the first session but was clearly intent on getting many more. Support eventually came from the tailenders. Mitchell Johnson helped put on 52 for the seventh wicket and after Bishoo removed both Johnson and Mitchell Starc in the space of three deliveries, Nathan Lyon played his part in adding 43 for the ninth wicket. Yet that paled in comparison to what was to follow as Josh Hazlewood first ensured that Voges got to three figures before showing his own usefulness with the bat, being last out for 39 as 97 runs were flogged off a dispirited bowling attack.
'Dream come true'
The stand equalled the Australian record for the last wicket in Test matches against the West Indies. "This is a dream come true," said Voges in reflecting on the moment when he completed the hundred. "You've got to give real credit to the lower-order guys. They played brilliantly and really didn't need me to do too much to protect anyone."
Earlier, Voges' assured occupation of the crease contrasted sharply with the mayhem wreaked at the other end by the leg-spinner. Bishoo's guile and accuracy accounted for Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in quick succession in the morning session, adding to the dismissal of Australian captain Michael Clarke late on day one. "I am lot more confident in my own ability now compared to the first time I played for the West Indies," said Bishoo in reflecting on his bowling effort. "Despite the finger injury that's still giving me some trouble I want to keep on going, to go from strength to strength this time around."
Haddin's dismissal will probably remain the lasting highlight of the day, as well as Voges played throughout an innings that occupied 247 deliveries during which he struck 13 fours and one six. Hoisted over long-on by the wicketkeeper-batsman at the start of his innings, the leggie responded in a manner reminiscent of Shane Warne's celebrated 'Ball of the Century' for Australia against Mike Gatting of England in Manchester exactly 22 years ago to the day.
Looking to play a delivery pitched fractionally outside leg-stump, Haddin was left bemused as the ball spun across him to clip the top off the off-stump, triggering celebrations among the West Indians on the field and in the stands. By the end of the day though, the mood was completely reversed as gloom descended over the home side after Aussie grit prevailed yet again.