Aussie bowlers make history on big day

December 02, 2022 09:29 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Australia's all-star bowling quartet have rammed home their status among the sport's most complete attacks, after edging their side closer to a big win over West Indies.

In another clinical display by Australia's bowlers, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins each took three wickets to have the Windies all out for 283 in the first Test in Perth.

Cummins then opted against enforcing the follow on, with Australia going to stumps on day three at 1-29, holding a lead of 344 runs with two days to play.

"We'll have a think overnight (on how long to bat for)," Cummins said.

"Hopefully the pitch gets a little bit harder to bat on and give the bowlers a break."

After just five wickets fell across the first seven sessions at Optus Stadium, Australia looked as if they would have a long grind ahead to force a result.

But Cummins changed the trajectory of the match when he claimed his 200th Test scalp by dismissing opposition captain Kraig Brathwaite for 64.

In scenes reminiscent of his famous ball to bowl to Joe Root in Manchester three years ago, the right-armer swung the ball in and straightened it just slightly off the seam to take the top of Brathwaite's off stump.

The quick also returned to clean up the tail for figures of 3-34, as West Indies lost their last six wickets for 38 runs against the second new ball.

Cummins' milestone meant that for the first time in history all four of a team's bowlers have 200 Test wickets to their name with Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon previously passing the mark.

Australia's attack of the mid-2000s of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie all individually passed the mark, but never played in a Test together after all had reached it.

"We just heard that five minutes ago and were trying to think of other bowling attacks thinking that stat wasn't right," Cummins said after play. 

"It's great. 

"The three other guys are three of my best mates. We all get along so well. It's not just the time out in the middle, it's the amount of dinners and nights in physio rooms together. 

"It's a really special group we've got going. We just have so much confidence in each other. 

"Even today just felt so relaxed the whole day that once you finished your spell someone else was going to step up."

Starc was the other man to stand up.

Three overs after Cummins' blow to get rid of Brathwaite, Starc nipped a ball back through Kyle Mayers on three.

Then when brought back with the second new ball after tea, the left-armer trapped Blackwood lbw on 36 when he swung one back into the right-hander's front pad.

He removed Joshua da Silva shortly after for a duck, when the wicketkeeper-batsman swung loosely at a ball that moved back into him.

Lyon took 2-61 while Hazlewood bowled better than his figures of 1-53 suggested, after all of Australia's quicks could be accused of being marginally short late on day two.

The seamer regularly beat the edge in Friday's opening session, but only caught it once when he had debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul out at first slip for 51.

"Having 300-plus runs lead might be a bit out of reach in terms of winning the game," Windies batsman Shamarh Brooks said. 

"We just need to try and restrict them to try and save the game over the next day and a half."

The West Indies' cause was dented by Nkrumah Bonner being forced out through concussion after being hit on the helmet by a Cameron Green bouncer, with Brooks replacing him.


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