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In the first Test, Travis Head's century and Josh Hazlewood's quick performance have pushed West Indies to the edge of defeat.
Cricket Sport

In the first Test, Travis Head’s century and Josh Hazlewood’s quick performance have pushed West Indies to the edge of defeat.

Following Travis Head’s strong century, Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood delivered more damaging hits, putting the West Indies in a difficult position after two days of the first Test.

On Thursday, Head’s strong score of 119 in his hometown helped Australia gain a 95-run advantage in the first innings at Adelaide Oval.

The West Indies ended the day at 6-73, with Hazlewood claiming 4 wickets for just 2 runs in his first 27 deliveries. Hazlewood dominated the top order, causing damage after Australia scored 283 runs in response to the West Indies’ first innings score of 188.

The South Australian Head was in control of the innings, hitting twelve fours and three sixes in a bold 134-ball performance.

However, the guests discovered a hidden talent in Shamar Joseph. In the past three years, Joseph, who hails from the isolated village of Baracara in Guyana, had only played cricket using fruit and tape-balls.

One year after his debut in first-class cricket, the 24-year-old became the 10th West Indian player to achieve five or more wickets in an innings during his Test debut.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Joseph told Fox Sports after capturing 5-95. “The only thing left for me is to bring tears to my eyes … I can’t explain how emotional I am right now.”

West Indies debutant Shamar Joseph kisses his cap after taking five wickets in the first innings.

Joseph’s impressive performance limited the Australian batsmen, with the exception of Head. The 30-year-old achieved his century in 122 balls, receiving a loud and enthusiastic response from the passionate home crowd of 23,698.

At a challenging batting surface, Head, Usman Khawaja (45) and Nathan Lyon (24) were the only Australian players to score more than 15 runs. Cameron Green’s comeback to the team did not go well as he was taken out for 12 by Joseph in the second over on Thursday.

The inexperienced West Indian player later claimed the wickets of Mitchell Starc (10) and Lyon, in addition to his earlier impressive dismissals of Steve Smith (12) and Marnus Labuschagne (10) on the first day.

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Justin Greaves, who was also making his debut, took 2 wickets for 36 runs, getting rid of Khawaja, Alex Carey and Kemar Roach. Mitchell Marsh was dismissed for 5 by Kemar Roach and Pat Cummins for 12.

However, Head had a successful performance, displaying a combination of close calls and powerful hits. He achieved his hundred runs with a powerful shot to the cover region, showing a resurgence in his form as he had only averaged 16 in the previous three-Test series against Pakistan.

Australia gained a favorable advantage from the Head knock and Hazlewood took full advantage with an impressive start. The right-handed bowler, who had a 4-41 record in the previous innings, dismissed Tagenarine Chanderpaul for zero runs, Kraigg Brathwaite for one run, Alick Athanaze for zero runs, and Kavem Hodge for three runs in just 27 balls.

Later in the day, Green (1-9) sent Kirk McKenzie, who had scored 50 in the first innings, back to the pavilion after he made 26 runs. Lyon (1-4) also managed to get Greaves (24) out with an lbw on the last ball of the day.

Source: theguardian.com