West Indies v Australia, 2015
Wisden's review of the second Test, West Indies v Australia, 2015
At Kingston, Jamaica, June 11-14, 2015. Australia won by 277 runs. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: R. Chandrika.
Not much could be expected of a West Indies side that had to rule out Devendra Bishoo (bruised finger) and Marlon Samuels and Shannon Gabriel (illness) only a few hours before play, and it was no surprise when they delivered little. Taylor and Holder provided brief glimmers, but the class of Smith and the incisive work of Hazlewood and Starc overwhelmed them.
The Australians played a sturdier brand of cricket than in Dominica, and toasted Smith's fifth hundred in six Tests, and his first at No. 3. He was needed in the first over of the match, after Warner was again surprised by a short ball from Taylor, the owner of an enviable record at Sabina Park. The pitch had more pace and bounce than Dominica, and Taylor's opening spell of 5-5-0-2 took full advantage, also accounting for Shaun Marsh, still in the team while Chris Rogers convalesced. But, curiously, Ramdin did not call on Taylor again until the penultimate over of the session, another maiden; in between, Smith and Clarke established a bridgehead.
Clarke's innings was sketchy - Roach held a return catch when he had just three, only to be no-balled - but his calculated risks moved the scoreboard along. Smith's steady acceleration was accompanied by deep concentration and just the right amount of respect for an attack that could not maintain Taylor's early excellence. No one else reached 50, but useful stands down the order allowed Australia to near 400, when Taylor forced a yorker through Smith's defences to trip him up one short of a maiden Test double-century; for the second time in four Tests, he was out in the 190s. Taylor posed for photographs with three metal plates from the scoreboard - 6, 4 and 7 - to mark career-best figures.
The worrying state of Caribbean batsmanship was underlined when Guyana's Rajendra Chandrika, possessing a first-class average of 25 and no hundred, walked out to face Starc - and walked back inside three overs. Lyon quickly removed Brathwaite to surpass Hugh Trumble's tally of 141 Test wickets and become Australia's most prolific off-spinner, and Hazlewood was incisive in claiming his second Test five-for.
Holder's bold show on the third morning, driving and cutting with skill, served to avoid a follow-on mark the Australians would have been unlikely to enforce anyway. And, after a cautious third-innings accumulation that allowed Smith to rack up another half-century, Clarke gave West Indies more than two days to chase 392. They did not get even a third of the way there, melting away in a manner that was disheartening even when allowances were made for Australia's excellence. Before the end of the day, both West Indies openers had bagged ducks in the same innings for the first time in 32 years. Chandrika's pair was the first for a West Indian debutant since Alf Valentine at Old Trafford in 1950, and only the fourth for any opener in his maiden Test - after New Zealand's Ken Rutherford, Saeed Anwar of Pakistan and Zimbabwe's Dirk Viljoen.
Hazlewood deservedly took the series award, having moved the ball both ways, in the air and off the seam. For Australia, this felt like an Ashes warm-up match; for West Indies, perhaps just an old-world distraction ahead of the glitz of the Caribbean Premier League.
Man of the Match: S. P. D. Smith. Man of the Series: J. R. Hazlewood.