Joseph scripts West Indies’ Test win in Australia after 27 years
BRISBANE: (Web Desk) Ending a 27-year drought for West Indies in Australia, Shamar Joseph’s stunning 7-68 scripted a thrilling eight-run victory in the pink-ball Test match at the Gabba.
On Day 4, the rookie pacer flipped the game on its head with his second fifer of the series that brought Australia’s 11-match winning streak in day-night Tests to a screeching halt. He triggered a collapse of 4 for 23 before Dinner that the Australia couldn’t recover from despite Steve Smith’s gutsy 91*. With this, West Indies shared the spoils in the two-match series.
This was in sharp contrast to how the hosts and the overnight batters started the day. In gloomy conditions, Smith and Cameron Green were solid in defence as they negotiated testing opening spells and nearly went through the first hour unscathed. Shamar’s last two balls before drinks, however, suddenly changed the complexion of the game.
Green was done in by an absolute jaffa when Shamar got one to breach Green’s defences, hit his elbow and crash the stumps, denying the batter a hard-fought fifty. The pacer then handed Travis Head a king pair, bowled by a terrific yorker.
Smith got his fifty right after, and Mitchell Marsh started aggressively just like in the first innings but Shamar nipped that threat in the bud. In his next over, the pacer knocked back Alex Carey’s off-stump as Australia slipped from 113/2 to 136/6 in the space of six overs.
Mitchell Starc briefly counterattacked, hitting four beautiful boundaries in his stroke-filled knock of 21 off 14. However, Shamar had the last laugh when Starc miscued his pull to covers to leave Australia seven down on 171. Pat Cummins lasted all of eight balls before Shamar got a length ball to rear up on the Australian skipper and take a thick outside edge through to the keeper.
Having lost their captain at the stroke of Dinner, Smith nearly walked off for the break before returning to the middle as the session was extended. Australia needed 45 more to win and Windies were just two scalps away.
In bright and sunny conditions on the other side of Dinner, the sun set quickly on Australia’s stunning pink-ball record. After shelling a low return catch off Nathan Lyon, Alzarri Joseph had him edging behind the very next delivery as Australia needed 25 more with the last pair in the middle. All eyes were on Smith, batting on 76, and he did lift their hopes with a four and a six in succeeding over off the Josephs. Fittingly though, it was Shamar who knocked back Josh Hazlewood’s off-stump and set off on a wild, celebratory lap as West Indies registered their first win at the Gabba since 1968.
Brief scores: West Indies 311 (Joshua Da Silva 79, Kavem Hodge 71, Kevin Sinclair 50; Mitchell Starc 4-82) & 193 (Kirk McKenzie 41; Josh Hazlewood 3-23, Nathan Lyon 3-42) beat Australia 289/9 decl (Usman Khawaja 75, Alex Care 65, Pat Cummins 64*; Alzarri Joseph 4-84, Kemar Roach 3-47) & 207 (Steve Smith 91; Shamar Joseph 7-68) by 8 runs.