Australia’s dominance at home continued as they secured a convincing 10-wicket victory over West Indies in the first Test at Adelaide. Josh Hazlewood’s impressive five-wicket haul in the second innings restricted the visitors to a meager total of 120, setting Australia a target of just 26 runs. The hosts chased down the target before lunch on the third day, taking a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series.
However, the highlight of the match wasn’t just the cricketing action but a heartwarming gesture from Australian vice-captain Steve Smith. During West Indies’ second innings, with the team struggling at 110-9, Smith noticed debutant Shamar Joseph’s untied shoelaces. In a spirit of sportsmanship, Smith took a moment to help tie Joseph’s laces while fielding at slips.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 19, 2024
The goodwill gesture was particularly noteworthy as Joseph had earlier dismissed Smith for a duck with the first ball of his Test career. Smith’s dismissal occurred in the 9th over of Australia’s first innings when Joseph, making his Test debut, induced an edge from the Australian batsman.
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The third day of the Adelaide Test saw Mitchell Starc dismissing Joshua da Silva (18) and Alzarri Joseph (16) early on. Hazlewood then sealed the West Indies’ fate by removing Gudakesh Motie (3), leaving them at 94-9. Shamar Joseph and Kemar Roche managed a small rearguard action, adding 26 for the last wicket.
However, it was not enough to avoid the innings defeat. Australia’s pursuit of 26 runs was straightforward, and they achieved the target in under seven overs.
However, there was a late scare when Usman Khawaja retired hurt after being struck on the jaw by a Shamar Joseph bouncer. The West Indies touring squad faced criticism for missing key players, including former captain Jason Holder.
With eight out of 15 squad members having limited Test experience and three debutants in the team, the challenges were apparent. Despite a spirited effort from Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul at the top of the order, the inexperienced middle order struggled against Australia’s formidable bowling attack.