Latest Match Report – Australia vs West Indies 1st Test 2022/23

Australia 293 for 2 (Labuschagne 154*, Smith 59*) Vs West Indies

Marnus Libeschen stormed the green Optus Stadium pitch early to score a stunning unbeaten century as Australia dominated a rampant West Indies on the first day of the first Test.

Coming to the crease in the fourth over after the wicket of opener David Warner, Labuschene faced a surface with 10mm of grass left.

But through a century partnership with Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith, he strangled the competition and dashed West Indies’ hopes of ending their 25-year Test drought in Australia on the opening day of both. Only after looking disappointed. – Match Series.

While most of their team-mates lack red-ball cricket, in between a number of limited-overs internationals, Libeschen and Khawaja have prepared extensively through four Sheffield Shield matches with Queensland this season. Benefited.

Leboschgen has clearly relished his return to the Optus Stadium, where he scored 143 and 50 in the last Test against New Zealand at the 60,000-seat ground three years ago.

While Khawaja looked to shine from the get-go to continue his Test reproduction as an opener with an average of 95 for the calendar year. It was almost a shock when he fell to a cracker by fast bowler Kyle Mears before tea, but Australia soon regained control in a one-sided final session.

Perhaps sensing their opposition wilting, Libeschen and Smith put their feet down to score freely after tea as the West Indies went through the motions and their pace with the second new ball was incredible.

Labuschene celebrated reaching his century with gusto, removing his helmet and raising his bat after receiving a firm hug from Smith. He was in strong form throughout his innings although he had some luck before tea when he got through the slips during a dangerous burst from pacer Kemar Roach and had two moments of good fortune during a lively over from Jayden Sales where he Topped a short ball and then nicked it through Cordon.

He capitalized on an increasingly tiring West Indies effort, hitting Alzari Joseph for a six later in the day at the Wirral Grandstands.

Smith’s strong form continued from the ODI series against England, highlighting his growing confidence with his new technique, which he recently refined by abandoning shuffling at the crease.

Although his trademark exaggeration after dropping deliveries was still eye-catching, Smith was well-balanced at the crease as he consistently drove sweetly through the covers.

The West Indies had few answers as they faltered during a sub-par final session that was fueled by abysmal bowling and sloppy fielding. Labuschagne almost found deep point with an uppercut against Seles when Labuschagne was on 136 but debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul couldn’t quite get there.

It was a disappointing end to the day for the West Indies, whose hopes of disappointment were seemingly boosted when Australian captain Pat Cummins gambled and batted first. They bowled good line and length, aided by the aggressive captaincy of skipper Craig Brathwaite, who completed the attacking fields with five slips reminiscent of the heyday of the nearby WACA.

The West Indies were rewarded with the opening wicket of Warner, whose lean run in Test cricket continued when he sliced ​​a full and wide delivery from Sales onto the stumps.

But the routes failed to correct as Labuschagne and Khawaja dug in before regaining control in the afternoon amid cool weather and less maneuvering than expected for a flagging attack on the surface.

Former coach Justin Langer’s recent inflammatory interview has led to fears of a cold reception from fans, which overshadowed the opening Test of the Australian summer.

But Langer, a favorite son in his hometown of Perth, was on the ground before he chatted with several of the Australian players in a sign of perhaps a truce. There was no apparent ill feeling from the fans throughout the day, who praised both teams for kneeling before the game in a stand against racism.

But the crowd of just 10,929 illustrated the general apathy in Perth for the match, which led to little fanfare.

As expected, a full-strength Australia fielded, while West Indies named Taginarayan Chandrapal, son of legendary batsman Shiv Narine, for his Test debut and received his Maroond cap from Brian Lara before the game.

Tristan Lovelette is a journalist based in Perth.

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