Travis Head Hits Home Game Century, Josh Hazlewood Produces Blitz to Put Australia in Control
A defiant century from Travis Head and a four-wicket burst from Josh Hazlewood have Australia firmly in control of the first Test against the West Indies at the Adelaide Oval.
Head’s gritty 119, his seventh Test ton, helped Australia post a competitive 283 in their first innings despite a relentless attack from the tourists. West Indies debutant Shamar Joseph claimed 5-94, but Head stood tall, anchoring the innings after early wobbles.
In reply, the Windies batsmen were blown away by Hazlewood who looked impeccable with his fiery pace. The Aussie quick ripped through the top order, claiming four wickets for just two runs to leave the visitors reeling at 4-19.
West Indies only made things difficult for themselves by succumbing to the Australian quick’s bowling. The situation worsened when Cameron Green struck in his first over, leaving West Indies reeling at 5-40.
A small partnership followed, briefly offering some hope to West Indies. However, in the last over of the day, Nathan Lyon dismissed Justin Greaves to break the 33-run stand.
Now, West Indies are precariously placed at 73 for 6, with only 4 wickets remaining for Australia to win the first Test match and secure their fourth consecutive win of the summer, following their 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan.
Hazlewood started the rot with the first ball of his spell, dismissing Tangerine Chanderpaul for a golden duck. West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and Alick Athanaze soon followed, both victims of Hazlewood’s accuracy and swing.
“That was a brilliant catch from Travis Head,” said former England captain Michael Vaughan, commenting on Head’s dismissal of Athanaze.
“The West Indies are falling over,” added fellow commentator Ian Smith. “They’re on the brink.”
Hazlewood completed his early dominance by removing Kavem Hodge, caught by Steve Smith at slip. The Windies now face a monumental task to avoid a heavy defeat and it is unlikely that they can escape it.
Earlier, Head’s century was the cornerstone of Australia’s innings. The South Australian batsman dug deep after the hosts lost three wickets for 29 runs, playing a patient and composed knock. He found valuable partnerships with Marnus Labuschagne (48) and Alex Carey (39) to help Australia build a defendable total.
With a lead of 95 runs and Hazlewood in devastating form, Australia is in a prime position to claim a crucial victory in the first Test. The Windies need a herculean effort to turn the tide in their favor on day three.