Roseau (Dominica), June 4:
Life for the West Indies in the post-Shiv Chanderpaul era began disastrously when they were bowled out for 148 in their first innings on the opening day of the first Test against Australia here on Wednesday.
Opting to bat first in good conditions at the Windsor Park, the West Indies were cruising at 63 for one before lunch but dramatically lost their last nine wickets for just 85 runs to be all out at tea, ten minutes into an extended second session, reports CMC.
Opener Shai Hope top-scored with 36 and Jason Holder, at number eight, got 21, but no other batsman made it past 20.
And with Chanderpaul, who boasts 11,867 runs at an average of 51, axed by selectors prior to the series, there was no middle or lower order fightback as the Aussie seamers clinically crippled the Windies innings.
New ball bowler Josh Hazlewood, in only his fourth Test, picked up three for 33 while left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson grabbed three for 34. Mitchell Starc, also a left-armer, provided support with two for 48.
West Indies bowlers, however, took some of the shame off the lethargic batting display, fighting back gamely in the final session to claim three wickets, to leave the tourists on 85 for three, still 63 runs in arrears.
Jerome Taylor removed David Warner (8), while opener Shaun Marsh (19) then nicked Jason Holder to Darren Bravo at first slip. Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo snared the prized wicket of skipper Michael Clarke (18), caught behind the wicket to hand wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin his 200th dismissal in Tests.
Debutant Adam Voges, on 20, and vice-captain Steven Smith, unbeaten on 17, steered the Aussies to the safety of the close.
With much of the build-up to the series overshadowed by the controversial dropping of the veteran left-hander Chanderpaul, the West Indies would have been hoping to quickly turn the page with a solid performance.
Instead, they found themselves in an all too familiar situation, where Chanderpaul’s powers had been repeatedly showcased over 164 Tests.
Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite (10) eased through the first half-hour in adding 23 before the right-handed Brathwaite feathered a defensive prod though to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin off an innocuous delivery from Hazlewood.
The Windies recovered well through a 40-run stand between Hope and Darren Bravo (19). However, despite looking in little trouble, Bravo played back to off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the third over after the first drinks break and edged to a diving captain Michael Clarke at slip.
Hope followed 21 deliveries later after striking five fours off 54 balls, driving at a wide delivery from Johnson to be taken by Shaun Marsh diving away to his right at gully.
Debutant Shane Dowrich, on 15 and Marlon Samuels, three, took the West Indies to lunch at 85 for three but three quick wickets of Dowrich, Jermaine Blackwood (2) and Samuels (7) in the space of 20 balls in the first half hour after lunch, set in motion a now familiar rapid West Indies decline.
Holder and captain Denesh Ramdin (19) then put on 30 for the seventh wicket, temporarily lifting the hosts’ hopes.
However, Ramdin fell to the third ball after the first drinks break of the session, playing back and on to one from Johnson which kept a trifle low.
At 121 for seven, the West Indies were desperately searching for a savior but found none. Holder sparred at a wide one from Starc and was gobbled up by Marsh at gully and Jerome Taylor (6) and Shannon Gabriel (2) succumbed without major resistance. (IANS)