Australia smash Windies despite Barath ton
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:NM Hauritz, AB Barath, BW Hilfenhaus
Event:West Indies in Australia 2009/10

DateLine: 28th November 2009


Australia thrashed West Indies by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test at the Gabba within three days. The Windies first could not avert the follow-on and then following-on could hardly make any match of the quality Australian bowling. The only thing to cheer for the scanty Caribbean crowd in the stadium was the century by debutante 19-year-old Adrian Barath but apart from that the defeat in three days almost summed up the way Windies cricket is heading. For the Aussies Bil Hilfenhaus and Shane Watson shone in the second essay while it was Mitchell Johnson and Hauritz who picked up three wickets apiece in the Windies first innings.


At the start of the third day Denesh Ramdin started of in spectacular fashion and made sure the tourists were in sight of a revival during the first hour. His dismissal though began a procession of wickets and none apart from a adamant Suleiman Benn looked like putting up a fight. Ramdin targeted Johnson and picked up a number of boundaries against the left-arm seamer that pushed him to a half-century.


Johnson though had sweet revenge via a brilliant outswinger forcing Ramdin to edge one to Haddin. After his dismissal Travis Dowlin and Sulieman Benn averted another wicket for 38 runs but an edge of Benn's bat started the collapse. After the left-arm spinner fell, Hauritz stepped in and picked up his first wicket of the morning in his very first over when Jerome Taylor (8) was caught at short leg. Next ball Michael Clarke raced to his left and took a brilliant catch at first slip to remove Kemar Roach and end the over.Dowlin faced the hat-trick ball with six men around the bat and though he was able to keep the hatrick out of the equation, he soon got out holing one to deep midwicket .


West Indies fell 252 behind and Ponting enforced the follow-on. The decision paid immediate dividends as the tourists were soon struggling at 39/3 in their second essay. Chris Gayle again was the first of the casualties as he went lbw to Ben Hilfenhaus in quite similar circumstances to his dismissal in the first innings. He again called for a review but nothing changed. Travis Dowlin who was one of the stars of the West Indian first innings, fell playing-on and Shivnarine Chanderpaul playing a nothing shot at a precarious situation was only able to top edge to Simon Katich behind square leg.


Adrian Barath all of only 19 years of age now had the responsibility of averting a three day defeat. He took on the likes of Mitchell Johnson and company and went on aggressively behind all of them. Though Mitchell Johnson picked up crucial wickets, he also was at the recieving end on a few occasions. In one over Barath punched the left-arm seamer for fours through point, mid-off and then blocked another in the middle of his wide bat. The 19-year-old raised his 50 with a cut over gully off Peter Siddle and raised his bat with satisfaction.


Just when it seemed Dwayne Bravo and Barath were set for a revival, disaster struck again as Bravo (23) pulled part-timer Michael Hussey to Ben Hilfenhaus at deep backward square to give the bowler his second Test wicket. Bravo has to be blamed for playing that nothing shot at the time. Just at the stroke when things were falling back in place, his shot put the West Indies back in the soup.


Wickets continued to fell even though Barath almost took the entire pressure of scoring runs on his own shoulders. Brendan Nash was the next to head back to the pavilion, failing to read a drifter from Hauritz. The left-hander could only make 7 runs in a partnership of 36 with Barath. Then came the moment of the match. Barath reached the three figure mark on debut courtesy a smack to a wayward delivery from Watson. The crowd went on its feet cheering the 19-year-old. The celebration though was shortlived as in the very next over Watson found the debutant plumb in front and the TV umpire had no qualms in reaffirming the fact.


Shane Watson struck again in his next over, this time the victim being Jerome Taylor. The right-arm seamer threw one short and Taylor could only pop it up for Hilfenhaus to lap it safely at fine-leg. Then it was the turn of Ramdin who tried cutting one too close to his body and only ended up edging it to Brad Haddin who took a good catch. Wickets continued to tumble one after the other as Kemar Roach followed Ramdin edging one from Siddle straight up for Hussey to take a sitter. The next ball ended the Test match as Sulieman Benn nicked one to Haddin down the leg-side of the bowling of Johnson who picked up his first wicket of the innings.