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On the first day of the match between Australia and West Indies, Steve Smith did not perform well as an opener and Australia maintained control.
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On the first day of the match between Australia and West Indies, Steve Smith did not perform well as an opener and Australia maintained control.

Steve Smith’s opening punt seemed to fail but Pat Cummins’ rare gamble paid off to give Australia a winning hand against the West Indies on day one of the first Test.

After winning the toss at Adelaide Oval, Cummins made an unexpected decision to bowl first. He and Josh Hazlewood, who was celebrating a milestone, each took four wickets to dismiss the visiting team for 188.

On Wednesday’s opening day of the two-Test series, Smith only scored 12 runs in his first attempt as a Test opener. Australia ended the day at 59-2.

Cummins is the 10th captain out of 82 Tests at Adelaide Oval who has chosen to bowl first after winning the toss. However, only one of the previous nine captains managed to win the match.

However, the captain supported his unexpected decision with a successful performance of 4 wickets for 41 runs in front of a crowd of 26,361 spectators.

Hazlewood, his partner in pace, took four wickets in a row to dismantle the middle order. This achievement also made him the 11th Australian to reach the milestone of 250 Test wickets.

Kirk McKenzie, a 23-year-old Jamaican playing in his second Test, was the leading scorer with a well-executed 50 for the West Indian team.

The visitors were saved from disaster by a 55-run partnership between debutant Shamar Joseph (36) and Kemar Roach (17*) at the end of the innings.

Joseph, the quick bowler, had a successful day as he took out Smith on his first delivery in a Test match. This ended the beginning stage of Smith’s attempt at being an opening batsman for Australia.

The speedy 24-year-old player also achieved a catch on Marnus Labuschagne (10) on the boundary of the fine leg, resulting in a score of 2-18.

Despite Joseph’s efforts, Australia currently holds a strong position with Usman Khawaja, who was given a second chance after being dropped at three, remaining not out at 30, and Cameron Green maintaining an unbeaten score of six.

Beforehand, Cummins shocked analysts by choosing to bowl first due to the rain overnight and a pitch with a greenish tint.

The captain justified his decision by getting the first two wickets, while Hazlewood achieved his 250th wicket by bowling out Alick Athanaze (13) just 15 minutes before lunch.

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Following the break, Hazlewood took three additional wickets in a remarkable three-over period. At one point, he had impressive statistics of 4-14.

The individuals affected by his actions included McKenzie, an exceptional player whose father was a devoted cricket fan and named him Sanjay and Alex after Sanjay Manjrekar from India and Alec Stewart, the captain of England.

McKenzie displayed great confidence, but only three balls after reaching his half-century, he accidentally hit a delivery from Hazlewood to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Hazlewood also got rid of Test rookies Kavem Hodge (12) and Justin Greaves (five).

The West Indies suffered a series of damaging strikes from Hazlewood, resulting in a collapse of 6 wickets for 35 runs and a total score of 133 for 9.

Rookie Joseph and Roach followed with their final partnership – the third time in the last year that the 10th-wicket has produced 50 or more runs against Australia.

The average partnership of 19.4 runs for the 10th wicket in the last 12 months against Australia is the highest among all Test teams.

Source: theguardian.com