Starc claims 4-28 as Windies collapse to nine-wicket defeat
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Mitchell Starc claimed 4-28 to trigger a West Indies collapse and spur Australia to a nine-wicket victory just before close on the third day of the first test at Windsor Park on Friday.
The West Indies, resuming on 25-2 after trailing on first innings by 170, were bowled out for 216 late in the final session.
Marlon Samuels top-scored with 74 while Shane Dowrich hit a defiant 70 but the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 35 runs.
Left-armer Starc was well supported by fellow seamers Josh Hazlewood (2-17) and Mitchell Johnson (2-38), while off-spinner Nathan Lyon chipped in with 2-67.
Australia raced to their victory target of 47 off just five overs, losing one wicket along the way.
Opener David Warner smacked three fours and two sixes in 28 off 20 balls to rush his team to victory.
“It was a tough fight today. I thought the West Indies fought exceptionally hard,” Australian captain Michael Clarke said after play. “Credit to our bowlers the way they found a way to still take wickets today on a wicket that was really slow and hard work certainly for the fast bowlers.”
Earlier, Australia sensed an early finish when Darren Bravo (5) drove Hazlewood to mid-off to leave the hosts reeling at 37-3.
But for the next three and a half hours, the West Indies fought their way back into the match with Marlon Samuels (74) and Shane Dowrich (70) sharing a fourth wicket stand of 144.
The 34-year-old Samuels lashed seven fours and a six while fellow right-hander Dowrich, on debut, hit five fours and a six.
The pair endured a few anxious moments but batted with grit and discipline to frustrate Aussie captain Michael Clarke, who used eight bowlers as he strived to break the stand.
They survived a few scares along the way, Dowrich surviving a sharp short leg catch to Steve Smith off Lyon when 53 and Samuels giving up when a direct hit from David Warner from mid-off would have run him out.
But once Hazlewood prised out Dowrich 10 minutes before tea, the rest of the Caribbean batsmen were swiftly blown away.
Jermaine Blackwood was stumped as he charged down to Lyon and Samuels followed at the same score, top-edging a hook off Johnson to fine leg – a carbon copy of his first innings dismissal off Starc.
Lyon bowled captain Denesh Ramdin off the inside edge, drawing level with Hugh Trumble as Australia’s most prolific test off-spinner, before Starc wrapped up the tail emphatically.
Jerome Taylor was plumb lbw to a big inswinger, while Devendra Bishoo and Shannon Gabriel were comprehensively bowled.
Jason Holder was left unbeaten on 12.
Clarke was full of praise for his side’s bowling and fielding department.
“Our bowlers just stuck at it, were nice and patient. I thought our fielding throughout the game was really good,” he said.
The skipper also spoke glowingly about man of the match Adam Voges, whose unbeaten 130 helped secure a crucial first innings lead of 170.
“He’s a class act Vogesy. He certainly deserved his opportunity over the years as he’s put runs on the board for long periods in all forms of the game back in Australia,” Clarke said. “That maturity and experience shows and he’s grabbed his chance with both hands and he’s looking forward to another go in Jamaica now.”
Australia’s openers aggressively approached their modest target and Warner was boundary-hungry until he edged to slip off Taylor with five runs needed.
Steve Smith hit the winning runs with the skies darkening and the sun beginning to dip into the Caribbean Sea.