Nathan Lyon claimed his 450th Test wicket as Australia on Dec. 11 completed a 419-run thrashing over a dispirited West Indies early on day four of the second Test in Adelaide, according to ESPNcricinfo.
It said Lyon became the third Australian bowler after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath to reach the landmark by clean bowling Alzarri Joseph to cap Australia’s convincing 2-0 series triumph in the Frank Worrell Trophy.
“It was their biggest-ever victory by runs against West Indies, whose second-innings total of 77 was their second-lowest total ever against Australia,” ESPNcricinfo said.
“A ruthless Australia attack ran through a beleaguered West Indies to wrap up victory 30 minutes before the dinner break having won the first Test in Perth by 164 runs,” it added.
ESPNcricinfo said Australia stretched its unbeaten record in day-night Tests to 11 matches with seven of them having been at the Adelaide Oval.
In contrast, it said West Indies “offered little resistance in an uncompetitive performance to cap a disappointing series – their first against Australia since 2015-16.”
“Starting at a forlorn 38 for 4, after West Indies’ top-order was ripped apart under lights on day three by recalled quick Scott Boland; Devon Thomas and Jason Holder tried to prolong an inevitable result,” ESPNcricinfo said. “They were under immediate pressure from Australia’s accurate seamers with quick Mitchell Starc hitting the pads of Thomas but the not-out decision was upheld on review.”
“It was only a matter of time before a probing Starc removed Thomas, who was caught behind after flashing at a wider delivery,” it added. “It was a lackluster end for debutant Thomas, a reserve wicketkeeper in the squad, after showing grit with the bat and surprisingly taking two wickets with his handy seamers.”
ESPNcricinfo said a second-string West Indies attack failed to trouble Australia’s batters on a pitch with “tennis ball-like bounce and occasional movement.
“Their injury woes deepened when debutant quick Mindley broke down on day one with a hamstring injury after two overs,” it said. “It was heartbreak for him after arriving in Adelaide from the Caribbean just 48 overs before the match.”
Australia declared in each of their four innings with their batting order dominating “listless” West Indies bowling, most notably Player-of-the Series Labuschagne who scored 502 runs with three centuries,” ESPNcricinfo said.
It said West Indies had few bright spots, but their one shining light was the “impressive Test start for opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, son of legendary batter Shivnarine, who defied Australia’s attack with 160 runs at an average of 40.”
But ESPNcricinfo said West Indies 25-year Test drought in Australia continued as it will “need to do plenty of soul-searching ahead of returning Down Under next summer.”
Associated Press/Ricardo Mazalan/File
West Indies Captain Kraigg Brathwaite lamented that his team “didn’t show any fight” in Adelaide but believed that, overall, they had produced a successful year in Test cricket.
West Indies crashed to a 419-run defeat within the opening session of the fourth day, their heaviest runs defeat in Test cricket, “having shown heart to take the first Test deep into the penultimate session,” ESPNcricinfo said.
“It was very disappointing. The first game, we fought to day five, which was a decent effort. Coming here we didn’t show any fight at all,” Brathwaite said. “Obviously Australia bowled well, but we didn’t fight.
“The pink ball is always different, under lights is always tough,” he added. “Bad days happen and bad games. This was a bad game for sure, but it’s not the end of the world, we have a lot of Test cricket to play next year, so we have to look ahead.”
West Indies came into the series unbeaten in five Tests for the year — including three wins in a row — and, before the Adelaide match, were above England and New Zealand on the World Test Championship table, ESPNcricinfo said.
It said Brathwaite was adamant that, viewed as a whole, and given the strength of the opposition they faced in this series, that it had been an encouraging year in the format.
“This loss is a little disappointing and how we didn’t show the fight,” he said. “But I still think it was a good year for us — a very good year — losing one series against probably the No. 1 team in the world is not a bad effort.”