Having watched the Kraigg Brathwaite-captained Test team defy the odds in the second of their two-match series against Australia, West Indies One-Day International captain Shai Hope is optimistic that his unit will not only continue that momentum, but more importantly, replicate the feat in their three-match series.

There was much talk about the Test team and its seven uncapped players, among them rising fast bowler Shamar Joseph, who braved a toe injury to snare a seven-wicket haul and lead West Indies to a famous eight-run win –their first in Australia in 27 years.

With the excitement of that victory still very much fresh in the air, Hope and is unit, which includes five players from the Test squad, is intent on extending the celebrations.

The three-match series bowls off on Thursday at 10:30pm.

“It was a very inspiring win that they had in the last Test. It’s great momentum for us, of course it’s a different format, but great signs for us to continue what happened in the last Test in this ODI series,” Hope said in a pre-game press conference.

“It (the mood in the camp) is pretty good. Everyone's up and ready to roll. Seeing some of these grounds here in Australia, that in itself (makes you) want to play cricket so the guys are upbeat and ready to go,” he added.

It was a mixed bag for West Indies last year where results are concerned with their failed World Cup qualifying campaign and a loss to India at the height of their disappointments. However, they rebounded with 3-0 and 2-1 series victories over United Arab Emirates (UAE) and England, followed by a stalemate with South Africa.

Despite the fact that they have won seven of 12 ODIs last year, Hope is mindful that West Indies is yet to beat Australia in a series in almost three decades.

“Like we always say in the dressing room, every game matters, not necessarily about series or an opponent. You have to take every single game as a final and it's nice to see that the guys are really taken to the new system and the we're trying to play our cricket. So yeah, it's just one game at a time and then the results will take care of themselves,” Hope noted.

That said, Hope welcomed the challenge for his fairly inexperienced squad, which includes eight players with 10 or less ODIs under their belts, as they commence the rebuilding phase to towards possible qualification for the next ODI World Cup in four years. Teddy Bishop and Tevin Imlach are both uncapped.

“Yeah, it's I think it's great to widen that pool and what is a better way to start a career than here in Australia for some of the guys. But yes, I think four years seems like a long time, but it really isn't and as much games as these guys can play over that span, I think it's going to widen the pool and then give us a headache when that time comes to hopefully select a strong squad, and then they would also gain a lot more experience with that time,” Hope, who has been at the helm for almost a year declared.

WEST INDIES – Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

AUSTRALIA – Steve Smith (captain), Travis Head, Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Nathan Ellis, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Adam Zampa

Cricket West Indies has lauded its Test team after it secured a historic victory against Australia, marking the first since 1997 that the Caribbean senior side was achieving victory in that country. This remarkable achievement, it said, signals the relevance of West Indies cricket on the global test stage and underscores its unwavering commitment to excellence.

The history-making performance came on the back Shamar Joseph’s seven-wicket haul in Australia’s second innings that spurred the West Indies to a pulsating eight-run victory. Joseph finished with figures of 7-68 from 11.5 overs bowled on the trot. The bowler, playing in only his second Test, was awarded Player of the Series for the 13 wickets he took during the two-Test series.

Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies, remarked "This victory is a testament to the indomitable spirit of West Indies cricket. It demonstrates our ability to rise above adversity and justly be among the world's cricketing elite.

"Captain Kraigg Brathwaite's exemplary leadership has been instrumental in guiding our team through challenges and victories alike. His resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication to the cause have inspired this young team and every member of our cricketing fraternity."

Dr Shallow also heaped praise upon the 24-year-old Joseph whose performance was key to the West Indies victory, stating, "The stellar performance of debutant Shamar Joseph is a shining example of the talent and potential within our ranks. His remarkable contribution underscores the depth of talent in West Indies cricket and bodes well for the future of our sport.”

As the Caribbean celebrates this historic accomplishment, Cricket West Indies extended its gratitude to its players, coaching staff, and support personnel for their tremendous efforts and hard work. In addition, heartfelt appreciation is offered to the loyal fans, stakeholders, and partners whose unwavering support continues to fuel West Indies cricket.

Cricket West Indies said remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing talent, fostering inclusivity, and upholding the rich legacy of West Indies cricket. “Together, we embark on a new chapter filled with promise, excitement, and endless possibilities.”

Australia defeated Indonesia 4-0 on Sunday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, where they will be joined by tournament debutants Tajikistan.

Two goals in the first half put 2015 Asian Cup champions Australia in control in the last-16 clash with Indonesia at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Sunday.

Martin Boyle's header added to an early own goal from Elkan Baggott.

Late strikes from Craig Goodwin and Harry Souttar scuppered any hopes that Indonesia, playing their first game in the knockout stage, may have had of getting back into the match.

"We knew they would come out here with nothing to lose today, we knew they would come and fight and run," said Jackson Irvine, who had a hand in two goals.

"In the first half they caused us some problems with their energy and intensity but our experience and professionalism shone through in the second half and I think we had too much for them on the day."

Indonesia had chances, coming close after just six minutes but Rafael Struick fired over from close range. With half-time looming, Yakob Sayuri fired wide while unmarked on the left side of the area.

"I am very proud of my team,” said Indonesia captain Jordi Amat. "We knew from the start it would be a tough game. They were more clinical in the first half. We had our chances but couldn’t score. We need to work and come back stronger."

Australia will face the winner of Tuesday's tie between heavyweights South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Tajikistan will take on either Iraq or Jordan after they overcame the United Arab Emirates 5-3 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Tajikistan's resolve could easily have faltered after Khalifa Al Hammadi's equaliser deep in second-half stoppage time cancelled out Vahdat Hanonov's opener and forced extra time.

But with a shoot-out required to settle the contest, goalkeeper Rustam Yatimov was Tajikistan's hero when he kept out Caio Canedo's spot-kick, with Alisher Shukurov keeping his cool to continue the minnows' dream run.

Shamar Joseph has been cleared of a fracture to his toe after retiring hurt following a blow from a Mitchell Starc yorker, raising the prospect that he could yet play a part on the fourth day at the Gabba as West Indies aim to defend 216 for a famous victory.

Starc speared the delivery into Joseph's boot and it was initially given lbw before the third umpire called a no-ball, but by then Joseph was already on the ground in pain. He quickly took off his shoe and sock as the physio came out and it was soon decided he couldn't continue and was helped off the field. His retirement brought an end to West Indies' second innings. After initially being iced in the dressing room, it was later confirmed he would be heading for scans and they brought good news later in the evening.

"He will continue to be monitored by the medical team and assessed tomorrow," a statement posted on X said.

Shamar Joseph's injury had left West Indies with just two frontline quicks, Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph, supplemented by allrounder Justin Greaves and the offspin of Kevin Sinclair as they tried to earn a first victory in Australia since 1997 in what would go down as one of the biggest upsets of all time. By the close they removed Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne to keep their hopes alive although Steven Smith was looking solid.

Alazarri Joseph said they were all wishing for the best for Shamar, but had to focus on the task at hand and retained belief they could secure victory.

"At the end of the day the game has to go on and we have a job to do. Can't worry about who's not there," he said. "Think we bowled pretty well. It's just for us to come tomorrow and keep pegging away. We still have eight wickets to get, you never know what could happen on the fourth day. As long as we bowl the ball in the right areas we can still win this game."

"I like the fight the boys have put in with bat and ball," he added. "We'll take quite a bit of confidence from this series but the game isn't done yet so there could be more."

Shamar Joseph became an overnight sensation on his Test debut when he claimed Steven Smith with his first ball in Adelaide and went on to finish with 5 for 94. He also impressed with the bat at No. 11, making 36 in his first innings.

In Brisbane, he removed Alex Carey in the first innings as West Indies threatened to secure a big lead before Australia drew nearly level before declaring.

 

After threatening to post an even bigger total at various points of their second innings, West Indies folded for 193 after tea, setting Australia a target of 216. But it was by no means a foregone conclusion, as the regional side's bowlers hit back late on day three, leaving their host at 60-2 heading into day four of the second Test at the Gabba.

Still, with opener Steven Smith off to a positive start at 33 not out, with Cameron Green also there on nine, Australia remain in the driver's seat to secure a further 156 runs and claim a sweep of the home Test, though this unpredictable encounter may have more twists and turns with heavy showers forecast for days four and five due to the after-effects of Cyclone Kirrily.

Scores: Australia 289-9 dec and 60-2 (Smith 33*, Green 9*, Joseph 1-19) trail West Indies 311 and 193 (McKenzie 41, Athanaze 35, Greaves 33, Hazlewood 3-23, Lyon 3-42) by 155 runs

New-ball bowlers Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph started sluggishly and failed to make the most of favourable conditions under lights. Australia rattled off 24 runs before opener Usman Khawaja tickled Alzarri Joseph down the leg side.

West Indies' hopes of ending a two-decade Test drought against Australia were further raised when Justin Greaves squared up Marnus Labuschagne, whose edge was brilliantly snaffled by Kevin Sinclair in the slips. From there, Smith and Green survived a probing examination before stumps.

Green was all at sea and struck on the pads by Greaves, but West Indies were unsuccessful in their review. He then edged the next delivery in front of second slip. In contrast, Smith looked technically sound and hit the ball crisply to finish unbeaten on 33 from 56 balls.

 
After a frenetic day two, the match returned to normalcy as the surface settled and West Indies eyed batting long. Resuming at 13 for 1, West Indies needed to survive the new ball onslaught and reached the 25-over mark, after which batting has proven easier, relatively unscathed.

But the surface did not offer as much zip as it did late on day two when Australia had declared 22 runs behind and Josh Hazlewood had sent back Tagenarine Chanderpaul. McKenzie motored along to thwart Australia's pace attack. In contrast, skipper Kraigg Brathwaite was anchored to the crease and scored just six runs off his first 33 balls before whacking Starc uppishly through the covers for his first boundary of the innings.

The batters defied probing hard-length bowling from Pat Cummins and notched a half-century stand before Brathwaite chipped Green to cover. McKenzie slowed down and on his 50th delivery, he missed an attempted sweep to be trapped lbw on Lyon's second delivery.

Athanaze, who has had limited impact in the series, showed glimpses of why he is highly rated with several attractive strokes, as he combined well with Hodge after dinner to rattle Australia. But Lyon's later brightened their mood when he dismissed Athanaze on 35 after tossing up a delivery that was edged to slip, where Smith took a sharp catch.

It was a relief for Smith, who had earlier in the innings dropped Athanaze and Brathwaite, as West Indies fell away before their late fightback left the match delicately poised.

 

The second Test between West Indies and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane remains finely poised after a riveting second day's play. At stumps, the West Indies, who scored 311 in their first innings, were 13 for 1, holding a slender lead of 35 runs after Australia declared their first innings reply on 289-9.

The visitors faced a tricky half-hour's play under the lights, and Tagenarine Chanderpaul became the sole wicket in the last over of the day, caught behind off the bowling of Josh Hazelwood for four.

Earlier in the day, Australia's innings experienced a rollercoaster ride, recovering from a precarious position of 54-5 to declare on 289-9. West Indies' fast bowlers, Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph, wreaked havoc, with Joseph claiming 4-84 and Roach providing crucial support with 3-47.

However, a remarkable counterattacking display by Alex Carey, who scored a brisk 65 in a partnership with Usman Khawaja, and an aggressive unbeaten 64 from Captain Pat Cummins, guided Australia back into contention. The hosts were struggling at 24 for 4 at dinner and 54 for 5 not long after, but the innings turned around with resilient performances.

Carey's innings, reminiscent of the legendary Adam Gilchrist, featured fearless strokes, but he fell for 65 from 49 balls before tea. Khawaja played the anchor role, contributing 75 runs, but was eventually dismissed by Kevin Sinclair. Mitchell Starc's departure on the stroke of tea left Australia in a precarious position.

A crucial moment occurred when a delivery from Shamar Joseph narrowly missed dislodging Carey's off bail, providing a stroke of luck for the Australian batsman. He capitalized on this fortune, striking three consecutive boundaries and displaying aggressive strokes. However, his dismissal at a critical juncture added to Australia's challenges.

In the final overs, West Indies' Chanderpaul fell to Hazelwood, setting the stage for a closely contested Test match. The fate of the game remains uncertain, with both teams aiming to seize control in the upcoming sessions.

At the start of play the West Indies resumed from their overnight score of 266-8 with Kevin Sinclair on 16. Kemar Roach joined him at the crease and together they resisted the Australian attack without much bother.

The pair batted through the first hour without loss with Sinclair doing the bulk of the scoring. The partnership was finally broken after Roach defended a ball to mid-off and called for a single, but Sinclair caught a glimpse of Labuschagne swooping in and made a very late call of no with Roach already halfway down. He slipped over trying to put the brakes on and was run out with ease.

Australia could have removed Sinclair on 30. He poked Pat Cummins straight to gully and Green spilt a sitter at thigh height. The Guyanese bowling all-rounder made Green and Australia pay with some excellent shots thereafter, sweeping Nathan Lyon for four and then lofted him inside-out over mid-off in consecutive balls to bring up his half-century.

He fell next ball, stumped by Alex Carey, for a well-played 50.

Mitchell Starc ended with 4-82 with Hazlewood taking 2-38 and Lyon 2-81.

 

 7 m

Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist announced his retirement from international cricket on this day in 2008.

The 36-year-old revealed he would end his Test career after their clash with India in Adelaide and his one-day international career following the next month’s triangular series against India and Sri Lanka.

Gilchrist had become the record holder for most Test dismissals by a wicketkeeper when he claimed his 414th victim the day before to move past South Africa’s Mark Boucher.

He scored 17 centuries in a 96-Test career and helped Australia’s one-day side win three successive World Cups.

Gilchrist said in a statement: “It is with great pride and happiness that I make the decision to retire from Test and one-day cricket.

“I’ve come to this decision after much thought and discussion with those most important to me.

“My family and I have been fortunate to have had an amazing journey full of rich experiences throughout my career and are sincerely grateful to all who have helped make this stage of our lives so fulfilling.

“I am now ready and excited to move into the next phase of my life which will of paramount importance include much more time with (wife) Mel, (and children) Harrison, Annie and Archie.”

Gilchrist contributed just 14 of Australia’s first-innings total of 563 as his final Test match ended in a draw.

The West Indies finally showed some signs of life on day one of the second Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday.

After winning the toss and batting, the tourists ended the day 266-8, their first time over 200 in the series.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Windies as Australia’s pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ripped through the West Indian top order once again to leave them reeling at 64-5 at the tea interval.

After the break, a 149-run sixth wicket partnership between Joshua Da Silva and Kavem Hodge provided some much-needed stability to the innings.

Da Silva led the way with 79 off 157 balls while Hodge showed improved judgement from the first Test with a 194-ball 71, his first Test fifty.

“We knew it was always going to be a tough fight against the Australians,” Hodge said in an interview after the day’s play.

“Knowing we didn’t put out a good showing in the first Test, we knew we had to be consistent with whatever we do. It was important that whoever got in try to push on as deep as possible. Just unfortunate that we didn’t see out the end of the day but I’m really happy with the fight that the guys are showing so hopefully we can come out tomorrow and push on,” he added.

Hodge made just 12 and three in the first Test, being dismissed caught behind by Hazlewood on both occasions.

On Wednesday, however, he made a concerted effort to leave the ball outside off stump, an excellent adjustment by someone just making their way to the highest level.

He put this clarity of thought down to time at the crease.

“Definitely! I was the first to admit in the team meeting after the first Test that the butterflies got the best of me but now I’m a bit more relaxed and I can work my plan and enjoy the environment of Test cricket. I’m really happy with the time in the middle,” he said.

“I was more relaxed. Leaving the ball outside off stump was generally my game plan. It’s just like any normal cricket. The more time you spend at the wicket, the more relaxed you feel and you’ll make better judgements,” he added.

It was a similar experience for Joshua Da Silva who also came up short in the first Test with scores of six and 18. On Wednesday, he made his fourth Test fifty.

“It’s always nice to come up against Australia. Best team in the world on paper so to face an opposition like that and score some runs is nice,” said Da Silva in a post day press conference.

“Coming in 63-5, I just wanted to consolidate with Hodgie (Hodge). It was challenging at times but it had periods where it was a little bit easier,” he added.

Da Silva also adjusted well to the game plan of the Aussies. He was dismissed twice to the short ball in the first Test but made the effort to either play the ball down or to duck when faced with those deliveries on Wednesday.

“I knew it was coming after I got bounced out twice in Adelaide. I put on a chest pad this time and decided to duck from a few. Had to change the philosophy a bit because it wasn’t going well. Thankfully, it worked,” he said.

 

Palestine and Syria advanced to the last 16 of the Asian Cup for the first time on a historic day for the tournament.

After Syria had overcome India 1-0 to book their progression from Group B, Palestine claimed their maiden Asian Cup victory by beating Hong Kong 3-0 to make it out of Group C.

Both teams – whose home nations are in the midst of conflicts – will progress as two of the four best third-placed sides.

Oday Dabbagh scored twice for Palestine, with Zeid Qunbar getting their other goal, in their emphatic victory at Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Stadium.

While Iran's 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates in Tuesday's other Group C match was not enough to see Palestine through in second place, their progress was nevertheless sealed thanks to their improved goal difference over the other teams that either have, or may, finish third in their groups.

Both Iran and UAE join Palestine in progressing to the next round.

Mehdi Taremi scored both of Iran's goals in their victory, with Yahya Al Ghassani missing a penalty for UAE before grabbing a late consolation.

Syria, meanwhile, made it through thanks to Omar Khrbin's 77th-minute winner against India at Al Bayt Stadium.

Khrbin's decisive strike was Syria's only goal from their three group games.

Syria had failed to advance from the group stage in any of their previous six attempts.

Progress is a triumph for Argentine coach Hector Cuper, who was a back-to-back Champions League runner-up when in charge of Valencia. He also led Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017.

Australia advanced as the Group B winner after drawing with Uzbekistan 1-1.

The 2015 champions had already secured a place in the round of 16 after two straight wins, and they confirmed top spot after picking up a point at Al Janoub Stadium.

Martin Boyle fired the Socceroos ahead from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time after a handball from Odiljon Xamrobekov. 

But Uzbekistan held onto second place in the group thanks to a goal from substitute Azizbek Turgunboev, who rose to meet Jaloliddin Masharipov's cross in the 78th minute.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite found solace in the efforts of his bowlers but lamented the lacklustre performance of his batters as they succumbed to a 10-wicket defeat against Australia in the first Test at Adelaide.

Brathwaite particularly lauded the impact of debutant Shamar Joseph, expressing confidence in the young cricketer's bright future in Test cricket.

As the West Indies resumed from their overnight score of 73-6, hopes for a resilient batting display were dashed. The team was eventually bowled out for 120, with Alzarri Joseph's 16 and Shamar Joseph's 15 offering some resistance. The standout performances of the Joseph duo forced Australia to bat again.

Australia swiftly achieved their target, scoring 26-0 and securing a resounding 10-wicket victory. Brathwaite acknowledged the success of his bowlers in restricting Australia within 300 runs but underscored the need for improvement in the batting department.

"Bowlers did well to bowl out Australia inside 300. Batters did not get going. As batsmen, it is good for guys to get a feel of playing cricket and what it is like to play the No. 1 team. It is about learning how to score and how to put away the bad ball," Brathwaite remarked, emphasizing the importance of a swift learning curve.

Praising debutant Shamar Joseph, who took 5-94 in Australia’s first innings and had scores of 36 and 15, Brathwaite commented on the youngster's infectious energy and humor, foreseeing a promising future for him in Test cricket. He noted, "[Shamar] is full of energy. Makes me laugh. Has a bright future and also scores runs."

During the Test, Shamar Joseph became the first player in Test history to

The match concluded with Australia's 10-wicket victory before lunch on the third day. Josh Hazelwood, with career-best match figures, played a pivotal role. However, the highlight came when Shamar Joseph, on his debut, drew blood from Usman Khawaja with a bouncer, forcing him to retire hurt.

Shamar Joseph's impact wasn't limited to bowling; he showcased his batting prowess at No. 11. His partnership with Kemar Roach added crucial runs, signaling a potential promotion in the batting order for Joseph in the future.

In a dramatic turn of events, Shamar Joseph, who had dismissed Steven Smith with his first ball in Test cricket, continued to leave an indelible mark on his debut. Despite not being given the new ball, he eventually entered the attack and produced a memorable bouncer that forced Khawaja to retire hurt.

The second Test is scheduled to begin in Brisbane on January 25, promising another exciting encounter, this time under the lights in a day-night format. West Indies will be eager to bounce back, with Shamar Joseph's impactful debut providing a glimmer of hope for the Caribbean side.

Australia’s Josh Hazelwood was the best of the bowlers following up his four-wicket haul in the West Indies’ first innings with remarkable figures of 5-35 in the second innings for overall match figures of 9-79.

For his score of 119 that helped the hosts establish a crucial 95-run lead on first innings, Travis Head was named Player of the Match.

Scores in the match: West Indies 188 and 120 v Australia 283 and 26-0.

Jackson Irvine delivered again as Australia booked their place in the knockout stage of the Asian Cup on Thursday by beating Syria 1-0.

The midfielder scored for the second straight game to maintain the Socceroos' 100% start in Group B.

Australia won the title when hosting the tournament in 2015 and top the group on six points.

Irvine struck the winner when he turned inside the area and flicked a shot past Syria goalkeeper Ahmad Madanieh in the 59th minute at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. He had scored the opening goal in his team's 2-0 win against India on Matchday One.

The closest Syria came to scoring was when Pablo Sabbag fired powerfully against the post early on.

In the second match of the day, Uzbekistan put themselves in position to join Australia in the next round after a 3-0 win against bottom team India.

Abbosbek Fayzullaev, Igor Sergeev and Sherzod Nasrullaev all scored in the first half to effectively seal the win before the break.

There is still plenty to play for in the group. Second-placed Uzbekistan are on four points going into their final game against Australia on Tuesday and would go top with a win. A draw would be enough to guarantee they advance as runners-up.

Syria could also move onto four points if they beat India. That might be enough to see it progress to the next stage as one of the best third-placed teams, even if they do not overtake Uzbekistan.

It has been a poor start for India, but there is still a chance they could advance as one of the best third-place teams if they are able to beat Syria.

In the final contest on Thursday, there was a 1-1 draw between Palestine and the United Arab Emirates, who played for more than half of the match with 10 men.

The draw for the UAE opens the door for Iran to move clear at the top of Group C if they can defeat Hong Kong on Friday.

West Indies Test head coach Andre Coley believes his team are still in with a chance to earn a positive result from the first Test against Australia but admits they have lost too many wickets, so far, in the second innings at the Adelaide Oval.

After a spirited bowling display that left Australia with a manageable 95-run lead at the start of the West Indies second innings, the tourists were 73-6 off 22.5 overs at stumps, needing a further 22 to make Australia have to chase a total.

“Obviously we had a good day on Tuesday and then a session and a half, maybe two sessions on Wednesday to claw our way back. Potentially two sessions a piece so even but, at the end of the day, we’re too many wickets down but, obviously, still in it,” Coley said in a press conference after the second day’s play.

“Generally, I thought out intent was pretty good but our decision-making was questionable. I think the challenge has been the consistency of the bowlers. Obviously, a wealth of experience in that Australian bowling attack so they’re able to stay patient,” he added.

The wicket of Cameron Green at the start of the day for 14 brought dynamic left-hander Travis Head to the crease and he was able to overcome a shaky start and take the game away from the West Indians with 119 off 134 balls, his seventh Test hundred.

“Originally, the plan to Head was to pretty much go short at him up front and plan B was to come back into him and shut him down which we did most of the time,” he said.

“By the time he was set, bowlers were jaded but I thought we stuck to the plans as well as we could and it worked well for the most part. The plan was simple, bowl out Australia in less than 90 overs. We never had a target in mind within 90 overs because we believed that if we were disciplined, we would bowl them out for a manageable total that we could chase down,” Coley added.

The star of the day, and the match so far for the West Indies, has been debutant Shamar Joseph.

After a swashbuckling 36 with the bat, Joseph starred with the ball to take his maiden Test five-wicket haul.

“I believe his performances speak for themselves,” Coley said on Joseph.

“What you see is what you get. We took him to South Africa earlier and we knew he was inexperienced but we knew he had pace. He had a natural ability to work to a plan and be consistent and disciplined around it and he’s done that. He shown what he’s capable of in this match,” he added.

 

It was Shamar Joseph's dream debut in Test cricket, and little did he know that his extraordinary performance would become the talking point of the opening day at the historic Adelaide Oval. The West Indies, however, found themselves in a precarious position against hosts Australia.

Sent into bat, the Caribbean men struggled to put up a decent total, managing only 188 runs. The top order collapsed, with the team reeling at 133-9, courtesy of the relentless pace duo of Australia's captain Pat Cummins, who took 4-41 and Josh Hazlewood’s 4-44. The lone resistance came from Kirk McKenzie, playing in only his second Test, who scored a gritty half-century amid the crumbling wickets.

It was then that Shamar Joseph, the West Indies' No.11, strode to the crease with determination. The Guyanese player showcased unexpected resilience, smashing 36 runs and contributing significantly to a 10th-wicket partnership of 55 runs alongside fellow bowler Kemar Roach, who remained unbeaten on 17. This unexpected lower-order resistance helped the West Indies reach a somewhat more respectable total.

Buoyed by his batting heroics the debutant carried his positive momentum into the bowling attack. In a stunning turn of events, he dismissed the dangerous Steve Smith, who had been promoted to open the innings following David Warner's retirement. Smith, who had been in sublime touch, fell to Joseph's clever bowling for just 12.

Joseph's dream debut continued as he followed up with the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne, who made 10, further denting Australia's innings. He finished the day with figures of 2-18 from his six overs as the hosts ended the day at 59-2, with Usman Khawaja (30) and Cameron Green (6) at the crease.

Notably, Joseph's dream debut wasn't just about his all-around performance. He etched his name in history by becoming the 23rd player in Test history, and the second from the West Indies, to take a wicket with his very first ball in Test cricket. And it wasn't just any wicket.

"Getting Steve Smith, I'll remember this for the rest of my life," Joseph exclaimed after the day's play. "I'll actually take a picture and post it up in my house." He had already predicted to his teammates that he would get a wicket with his first ball, and when it happened, he credited his positive mindset for the success.

"I didn't know it was Steve Smith," Joseph admitted. "That went well for me. You're coming up against the best team in Test cricket. So I just came with a positive mindset and did what I do best."

The West Indies could have been in an even stronger position had Joshua da Silva, who managed only six runs in the West Indies innings, held onto a catch after Alzarri Joseph found Khawaja’s edge when the Australian opener was on three, during the second over of the hosts’ innings.

 

 

With Shamar Joseph, Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves all set to make their Test debuts, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite stressed the importance of discipline to his young charges, as the Caribbean side heads into a tough two-match series against Test world champions Australia in Adelaide.

Having travelled with seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad, it was always expected that West Indies would field at least three debutants in the series, which forms part of the ICC Test Championships, and with Joseph, Hodge and Greaves all showing their worth in the drawn three-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI, it comes as no surprise that they secured spots in the starting team.

In fact, only five members of the current squad -Brathwaite, Joshua Da Silva, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Tagenarine Chanderpaul -were a part of the squad that toured Australia last summer, while Chanderpaul (eight), Gudakesh Motie (four), Alick Athanaze (two), and Kirk McKenzie (one) have a mere 15 Tests between them, which underscores the inexperience of the current West Indies outfit.

Still, Brathwaite, who is only 13 Tests away from the 100-mark milestone, is backing his side to prove competitive against the formidable Australians, provided they maintain their discipline for long periods.

The Domincan-born Hodge and Barbadian Greaves will bat at five and six behind Brathwaite and the left-handed trio of Chanderpaul, McKenzie, and Athanaze, while Shamar Joseph will join Roach and vice-captain Alzarri Joseph in a three-pronged pace attack.

"All I want to see from the team is fight. Obviously, we have a lot of guys that are relatively new to Test cricket, and they have got to show their worth to the world. It is understandable that we are the underdogs, but my thing for the guys is show the world what you can do and make West Indians proud," Brathwaite said. 

"We're obviously playing against the number one team, but I believe we do have the potential. It all revolves around discipline - how long we can be disciplined for as a bowling unit, because we don't want to go in fours and fives obviously. So, once we can be disciplined and obviously put partnerships on the board, anything is possible. But we've got to work extremely hard, and we have to believe in ourselves," he added.

Brathwaite is well aware that they are faced with a daunting task of trying to secure West Indies first win in Australia in over 27 years, but he is hopeful that the knowledge imparted by Brian Lara at training over the past few days, will serve as inspiration to spur the debutants, in particular, to great heights in Adelaide.

"It's always amazing to have Brian around. He has a good set of runs here at Adelaide, so if he could give some of the guys [an idea of how to score] that would be great. But obviously, his wisdom is always good, his advice. He's been through many situations, especially here in Australia and against Australia. My advice to the guys will always be to tap into him," Brathwaite said.

The opening Test will be live on SportsMax this evening from 7:30E Caribbean (6:30 JA).

West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Kemar Roach

Australia XI: Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

West Indies Captain Kraigg Brathwaite says he’s pleased with the team’s preparation ahead of the first Test against Australia set to begin on Tuesday in Adelaide.

The tourists played to a draw in their lone three-day warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI on Friday.

“We as a team are very pleased. The facilities here are outstanding and the boys made good use of it,” the skipper said in an interview after Friday’s final day.

The team had some excellent individual performances throughout the three days including Brathwaite himself getting 52 in the first innings.

He didn’t bat in the second, however, giving the opportunity to wicket-keeper Joshua Da Silva to get some time out in the middle at the top of the order. Da Silva grabbed it with both hands, producing a well-composed 105.

“Felt good. It was important for Joshua to get some batting in the second innings so it was a very good game for us,” Brathwaite said.

Brathwaite also singled out the performances of Justin Greaves and Kavem Hodge in the game. Greaves had scores of 65 and 41* and took two wickets in the match while Hodge had scores of 52 and 99.

“He’s a quality cricketer. I’m not surprised by what he did and I look forward to his future in West Indies cricket,” he said of Greaves.

“Very pleased with the hunger he showed to come again in the second innings and do it. That’s what we want in this team,” Brathwaite said about Hodge.

The team has been in Australia since late December, something Brathwaite believes has helped them to better acclimatize to the conditions.

“I think it’s very good. We would have flown a number of hours to get here so I think initially getting here and getting accustomed to the time zone and getting over jet lag was quite important,” he said.

“Having the time, as well, to practice here in Adelaide and get accustomed to the pitches and stuff was great for us,” he added.

“Quite clear,” was Brathwaite’s response to questions about the XI for the first Test.

“Very happy with how all the guys went about this camp and this game and, obviously, it’s time next week to make the West Indies proud,” he said.

 

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