Voges debut century puts Australia in command
Roseau (Dominica): Adam Voges made his belated Test debut a memorable occasion with a composed, unbeaten hundred which put Australia in command at stumps on the second day of the first Test against West Indies here.
His 130 not out proved the cornerstone of Australia’s revival to 318 all out in their first innings at the Windsor Park Stadium after leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo had reduced them to 126 for six in mid-afternoon replying to the home side’s first day total of 148.
Deflated by their opponents’ rearguard which saw 192 runs added for the last four wickets, the West Indies lost both openers — Kraigg Braithwaite and Shai Hope — in stumbling to 25 for two in their second innings at the close, still trailing by 145 runs going into day three.
Bishoo finished with career-best Test figures of six for 80, along the way becoming only the second West Indies leg-spinner to reach 50 wickets in Test cricket.
However his effectiveness in the latter stages of the Australian rearguard was reduced by the recurrence of a finger injury to his bowling hand, causing him to leave the field for treatment on two occasions.
Voges, at 35 years and 243 days, the oldest player ever to score a hundred in his first Test match, was already causing the Caribbean side considerable discomfort after the morning and early-afternoon clatter of wickets.
He reached his half-century in the first session but was clearly intent on getting many more. Support eventually came from the tailenders.
Mitchell Johnson helped put on 52 for the seventh wicket and after Bishoo removed both Johnson and Mitchell Starc in the space of three deliveries, Nathan Lyon played his part in adding 43 for the ninth wicket.
Yet that paled in comparison to what was to follow as Josh Hazlewood first ensured that Voges got to three figures before showing his own usefulness with the bat, being last out for 39 as 97 runs were flogged off a dispirited bowling attack.
The stand equalled the Australian record for the last wicket in Test matches against the West Indies.
“This is a dream come true,” said Voges in reflecting on the moment when he completed the hundred.
“You’ve got to give real credit to the lower-order guys. They played brilliantly and really didn’t need me to do too much to protect anyone.”