The Aussies keep Frankie

By Peter Argent – at Adelaide Oval

Culminating with Australia claiming the required six wickets on Sunday’s day four of the Adelaide Test, Australia racked up a mammoth record making 419-run victory and undeniable 2-0 triumph in the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy after a lop-sided two test series.

The win was set up by a 297-run four wickets partnership by Player of the Series Marnus Labuschagne (163) and Man of the Match Travis Head (175 run out), which enabled stand-in captain Steve Smith to declare during the second session on day two at 7/511.

Since the first test back in 1884, Head just became the seventh South Australian to make a hundred at the venue, amongst 185 centuries in the men’s game.

The West Indies were bundled out for 214 in the first dig, with the wickets shared across the bowling group.

Australia batted for a second time, although it wasn’t necessary, making 6/199 declared before sending the West Indies back in to bat in the Saturday night session on day three.

Indigenous quick Scott Boland inserted himself into the contest, with an amazing three wickets in his first over of the second innings to have the Windies reeling at 4/38 at stumps.

The trio of quicks – Mitchell Starc (3/22), Michael Neser (3/29) and Boland (3/16) – bowled well as a unit, while Nathan Lyon’s only second innings scalp was his milestone 450th test wicket.

A demoralised and down-trodden West Indies side was dismissed in the second innings for a miserable total of 77, losing 6/39 in the opening session on Sunday.

Playing at his home ground, former GWS Giants footballer and wicket-keeper/batsman Alex Carey took six catches in the second stanza and nine for the match.

Carey’s six catches saw him join post World War II stumper Wally Grout, the late Rod Marsh – who was honoured with a memorial earlier in the test – Ian Healy and Brad Haddin as holders of the record for most dismissals in a Test innings by an Australian gloves-man.

The only negative from an Australian point of view was an indifferent form of opener Davie Warner.
He failed by his lofty standards, especially at Adelaide Oval, making 21 and 28.

Across all three forms of the game in his career so far, Warner has seven centuries for Australia at Adelaide Oval, including four at Test level.

The once mighty Caribbean cricketing nations that makes up the West Indies cricket are now barely a shell of the world class outfits that conquered the cricket landscape from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.

Despite the lack of competition, a total of 86,617 fans attended the Test Match, the largest crowd between these two teams at Adelaide Oval for over 40 years, since 1982.

The 2-0 clean sweep extends Australia’s lead at the top of the ICC’s World Test Championship (WTC) ahead of the biennial final at The Oval next June.

The men in the Baggy green caps also continue an 11-test winning streak in day-night tests they participated in.

The three test series against the second placed South Africa in the WTC starts this Saturday, December 17 at the Gabba in Brisbane. The second test is in Melbourne beginning on Boxing Day and the Sydney Cricket Ground hosts the Third Test, starting on January 4, 2023.


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