ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Shamar Joseph took the prized wicket of Australia’s Steve Smith with his first ball in test cricket as a rare highlight in an otherwise tough opening day for an undermanned West Indies in the series-opening test on Wednesday.
Australia captain Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood took four wickets each as Australia restricted West Indies to 188 all out and made good use of the Adelaide Oval pitch after winning the toss and bowling first.
Kirk McKenzie, playing his second test, made his maiden half-century to top-score for the tourists before an entertaining 55-run partnership between Shamar Joseph and Kemar Roach for the 10th wicket lifted West Indies towards 200.
Smith’s first innings as a test opener — replacing the retired David Warner — yielded 12 runs before Shamar Joseph (2-18) made it a dream debut by having Australia’s best batter caught at slip with his first ball and then taking Marnus Labuschagne late in the day.
Australia was 59-2 at stumps, trailing by 129 runs, with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 30 and Cameron Green — making his first test appearance for Australia since the Ashes series in England last June — on six not out.
Earlier, Cummins (4-41) continued his strong form this Australian summer by taking two wickets in the opening session before Hazlewood claimed his 250th test wicket to have Australia on top after the first session.
“We thought the wicket was going to do the most this morning,” Hazlewood said. “A lot of people play (domestic) games here with the red ball and think it gets flatter as the game goes on so the best time to probably take 10 wickets is straight up, if we get it right.
“To get 10 (wickets) today backed up that decision.”
After taking 19 wickets in the recent 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan, Cummins struck in his opening over Wednesday to dismiss opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, before producing a superb delivery to bowl counterpart Kraigg Brathwaite.
Hazlewood (4-44) then claimed his milestone wicket by bowling Alick Athanaze shortly before lunch.
The pace bowler continued his relentless line and length after the interval to have Kavem Hodge (12) caught by Green, before McKenzie was finally removed for a fine half-century off 94 balls, with seven boundaries.
Justin Greaves (5) quickly followed to be Hazlewood’s fourth victim before Cummins returned to add the wickets of Joshua da Silva and Alzarri Joseph as West Indies batting crumbled.
Nathan Lyon ended the late rally by Shamar Joseph and Kemar Roach, having the debutant trapped leg before wicket for 36 off 41 balls, with three boundaries and a six.
Smith, in his 106th test, then strode to the batting crease to open the batting for Australia for the first time. Joseph ensured that it wouldn’t be a joyous memory for the veteran. as he teased the edge which was well caught by Greaves at slip.
The bowler sprinted almost to the boundary in celebration as he was chased and mobbed by his teammates in a fairytale introduction to test cricket for the 24-year-old.
“I had a few conversations with the boys in the dressing room, I told him that I would get a wicket on my first ball, but I didn’t know it was Steve Smith,” Joseph said. “I really love Steve Smith, the way he go about and play his cricket.
“And getting his wicket, I will remember this for the rest of my life.”
Unsurprisingly, the Guyanan pacer had a spring in his step and was rewarded with another big wicket, having Labuschagne (10) play an ill-timed hook shot which was caught on the boundary by Gudakesh Motie.
Khawaja and a nervy-looking Green then guided Australia to stumps.
West Indies, which hasn’t won a test match Down Under since February 1997, has brought only five players who appeared in the two tests against Australia in 2022-23 and added seven uncapped players to the touring squad.
The Caribbean side is missing allrounders Jason Holder, a former West Indies captain, and Kyle Mayers. They opted out of the tour to prioritize T20 cricket, while fast bowler Jayden Seales is out with a shoulder injury.
The second and final test in the series, a day-night match at the Gabba in Brisbane, begins Jan. 25.