West Indies mount a comeback after Australia’s Starc tears through their top order in the second Test.
The Gabba match in Australia’s cricket season saw the longest partnership between West Indies players, Josh Da Silva and Kavem Hodge. Their determination helped the team avoid a swift defeat.
After a challenging first session in Brisbane on Thursday, the duo formed a partnership at 64-5 and defied expectations by scoring 149 runs, leading their team to a score of 266-8.
The pair took a total of 311 balls to break, making it the most successful partnership in a day-night Test against Australia and the longest in terms of balls faced by any team this season.
The response of welcome, which also showcased some last-minute confidence from newcomer Kevin Sinclair (16 not out) and Alzarri Joseph (32 off 21 balls), came after a defeat by 10 wickets in the first game of the series in Adelaide.
The game ended before midday on the third day, making it the shortest Test match ever played at that venue. The home team appeared to be on track to replicate this in Brisbane.
Mitchell Starc, with figures of 4-68, had dominated the opposition’s top batsmen and joined a select group of only three left-arm fast bowlers and five Australians overall to reach 350 Test wickets.
However, on a pitch that had been completely cleared of its green covering before the game, the pink ball lost its hardness quickly.
During the middle session, wicketkeeper Da Silva scored 79 runs and No 5 Hodge, who was playing only his second Test, scored 71 runs. They both seemed comfortable at the crease and played some beautiful straight and cover drives without giving any chances to the opposition.
Nathan Lyon (1-62) made a crucial breakthrough when Da Silva was caught in front and unsuccessfully challenged the decision, revealing debutant Kevin Sinclair’s vulnerability just a few overs before the second new ball came into play.
Due to Hodge’s inability to see it through, he attempted to play across the line and was ultimately caught by Starc, who claimed his fourth wicket just before 9pm local time.
Cameron Green, practicing social distancing before and after the game due to a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday, nearly made a spectacular catch in the gully while on 59 runs.
The bowling team had little to boast about as they were on course for an early finish after West Indies captain Kraigg Braithwaite won the coin toss and elected to bat in favorable weather conditions.
The team leader managed to survive two evaluations, one resulting in a dismissal and one without, before getting out on a weak four off 25 balls when he made contact with a wide delivery from Josh Hazlewood (2-32).
Kirk McKenzie (21 out of 25) attempted to advance the game, but was forced to leave after Usman Khawaja successfully caught a difficult high ball at first slip from Pat Cummins (1-70).
Chanderpaul had steadily advanced to 21 runs, but his dismissal turned the tide in favor of the host team. Starc achieved his 349th Test wicket when second slip Steve Smith easily caught the ball.
Starc achieved the milestone by getting Carey to catch an ordinary edge, resulting in Athanaze being dismissed for eight runs.
In the recent session, Justin Greaves (six) became the fifth player to be dismissed. Khawaja, who was named ICC Test player of 2023, made a quick catch near the ground to give Starc his third wicket. The session was dominated by one team.
The 23,602 spectators were then able to witness an unexpected comeback, while the possibility of rain over the weekend adds another level of interest.