Friday, March 1, 2024

Australia in control in Hobart after record stand


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ADAM VOGES AND Shaun Marsh combined for 449 runs and the sixth highest partnership in test cricket history to put Australia firmly in control after the second day of the first test against West Indies on Friday.

Voges hit a majestic 269 not out and Marsh a career-high 182 to claim the world record for a fourth-wicket stand, allowing Australia skipper Steve Smith licence to declare on 583 for four at lunch in Hobart.

Spinner Nathan Lyon (3-43) and paceman Josh Hazlewood led the charge as the Australian bowlers drove home the advantage in the rain-disrupted final two sessions to reduce the tourists to 207-6 at stumps.

Darren Bravo gave a timely reminder that West Indies do have some quality in a defiant innings of 94 and will resume his 91-run partnership with Kemar Roach (31 not out) on day three looking to make further inroads into Australia’s 376-run lead.

The day, though, belonged to Western Australians Voges and Marsh, who were scarcely troubled in the opening session when, having resumed on 438-3, they plundered runs and sent records tumbling almost at will in an epic stand.

“It was great to see those two do what they did,” Hazlewood told ABC radio.

“Voges especially from ball one just hit the ball so well and was scoring at quite a quick rate without even trying. Really happy for Shaun Marsh as well.”

The duo were separated when Marsh was caught at midwicket just before lunch, leaving them just two runs shy of the Australian record set by Bill Ponsford and Donald Bradman for the second wicket against England at the Oval in 1934.

Voges’s brilliant knock gave him his maiden test double century and overhauled the Bellerive Oval individual test record of 209 that Ricky Ponting set against Pakistan in 2010.

Still in his first year of test cricket after making his debut against West Indies in June, Voges may have been aggrieved that the declaration robbed him of a chance to go for a triple.

The 36-year-old faced only 285 balls and hit 33 fours, including the one that took the partnership past the fourth-wicket record of 437 that Sri Lankans Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera scored against Pakistan in Karachi in 2009.

An attempted slog sweep by Marsh off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican that went straight to Bravo at midwicket brought an end to a glorious partnership and, a couple of overs later, the innings.

Hazlewood made an early breakthrough by trapping opener Kraigg Brathwaite lbw for two but it was not until Lyon came on that the West Indies wickets started tumbling.

The 28-year-old, playing his 50th test, dismissed Rajendra Chandrika (25), Marlon Samuels (9) and Jermaine Blackwood (0), the latter two in a wicket-maiden over shortly before tea.

Hazlewood claimed his second victim when he trapped Denesh Ramdin (8) lbw before Peter Siddle took the final wicket to fall when West Indies skipper Jason Holder (15) was also adjudged lbw by a delivery that technology showed was going over the stumps. (Reuters)


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