ROSEAU - Denesh Ramdin gave his batsmen the chance to bat first in Dominica but they lasted only two sessions against a solid Australia attack backed by outstanding catching. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson each collected three wickets as West Indies were rolled over for 148, the final wicket bringing the tea break and giving Australia’s openers extra time to prepare for their innings.

West Indies went to lunch three wickets down but things quickly deteriorated further upon the resumption, when Shane Dowrich, Jermaine Blackwood and Marlon Samuels all fell within a four-over period. Ramdin and Jason Holder put up some sort of fight but it seemed only a matter of time until Australia finished the job, and they did so in the 54th over of the innings.

The batting conditions were not as easy as Ramdin might have expected when he won the toss, with the odd ball staying low and two batsmen - Darren Bravo and Jerome Taylor - struck on the helmet by quick, accurate bouncers. Nathan Lyon also extracted more than a little bit of turn, and combined with a slow outfield it meant hard work for the West Indies batsmen.

Still, they didn’t put up much resistance, with no partnership lasting 10 overs. Josh Hazlewood made the first breakthrough when he moved a delivery away just enough to kiss the outside edge of Kraigg Brathwaite’s bat and Brad Haddin completed a simple catch to have Brathwaite for 10.

Shai Hope was able to strike five boundaries and his driving through the off side was most impressive, and Darren Bravo also threatened to cause some problems with a typically classy start. Their 40-run stand was the best of the innings, but it ended when Lyon came around the wicket to Bravo, who on 19 edged and was brilliantly taken by Michael Clarke low to his left at slip.

It was one of a series of excellent catches by the Australians. Hope fell for 36 off 54 balls when he tried to drive Johnson and his thick edge was taken by a diving Marsh at gully. West Indies were 75 for 3 and it was the sort of situation in which the Australians would have been pleased not to see Shivnarine Chanderpaul walking out to bat.

Dowrich managed 15 before he dragged on off Hazlewood, and in Hazlewood’s next over he added the wicket of Blackwood for 2 when a thick edge was taken by Clarke, moving across from second slip in front of Shane Watson at first.

In the next over, West Indies lost the last of their top six when Marlon Samuels miscued a hook off Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood at fine leg took a well-judged catch.

Ramdin and Holder tried to reassemble things but Johnson ended that idea when he bowled Ramdin for 19, the ball staying disconcertingly low for the first day of a Test. When Holder edged Starc to Marsh at gully for 21, the end seemed nigh, and the next wicket brought the score to 144 for 9 and allowed an extension of the session past the scheduled tea time.

That eighth wicket came from arguably the best of the catches, when debutant Adam Voges ran back from midwicket with the flight of the ball, dived and clung on to get rid of Taylor for 6. A change to the part-time legspin of Steven Smith had done the trick, even if Smith’s wicket came with what could only be described as a long-hop.

Shannon Gabriel, one of Test cricket’s genuine No.11s, was then no match for Johnson, and edged to slip for 2 to complete a miserable start to the series for the home side.



K Brathwaite c Haddin b Hazlewood    10

S Hope c Marsh b Johnson    36

D Bravo c Clarke b Lyon    19

S Dowrich b Hazlewood    15

M Samuels c Hazlewood b Starc    7

J Blackwood c Clarke b Hazlewood    2

D Ramdin b Johnson    19

J Holder c Marsh b Starc    21

J Taylor c Voges b Smith    6

D Bishoo not out    9

S Gabriel c Clarke b Johnson    2

EXTRAS: (w1, nb1)    2

TOTAL: (all out; 53.5 overs)    148

FOW: 1-23, 2-63, 3-75, 4-85, 5-87, 6-91, 7-121, 8-133, 9-144, 10-148

BOWLING: M Johnson 13.5-2-34-3, J Hazlewood 15-7-33-3, M Starc 15-5-48-2, N Lyon 6-1-20-1, S Watson 3-1-11-0, S Smith 1-0-2-1

AUSTRALIA: D Warner, S Marsh, S Smith, M Clarke, A Voges, S Watson, B Haddin, M Johnson, M Starc, N Lyon, J Hazlewood

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (Pak), R Kettleborough (Eng)

TV UMPIRE: I Gould (Eng)