Recent Match Report – Australia vs West Indies 2nd Test 2023/24

Dinner Australia 289 for 9 dec and 187 for 8 (Smith 76*, Green 42, S Joseph 6-60) need 29 runs to beat West Indies 311 and 193

West Indies quick Shamar Joseph returned from a toe injury and spectacularly ripped through Australia on day four with a remarkable six-wicket haul to leave the second Test at the Gabba on a knife’s edge.

But Steven Smith stands in West Indies’ way of a monumental upset after he struck his first half-century as an opener. He defied the heroic Joseph, who summoned speeds around 150kmh, to reach dinner on 76 not out with Australia still needing 29 runs for victory at 187 for 8. Nathan Lyon was unbeaten on 5.

Australia appeared to be cruising towards the target of 216 at 113 for 2 until Joseph turned the match on its head with the wickets of Cameron Green and Travis Head in consecutive balls. He then dismissed Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey as Australia lost 4 for 23 and were still 80 runs short of victory.

Joseph claimed his second five-wicket haul in as many matches by dismissing Mitchell Starc, who had briefly counterattacked, just before dinner as he sunk to his knees with his head on the ground.

But he pushed through the pain barrier and exhaustion to nick off Pat Cummins to continue his all-time great performance.

There had been grave doubt over whether Joseph could bowl after he was struck on the toe by an inswinging delivery by Starc late on day three that forced him to retire hurt.

But he was cleared of a fracture and produced a spell in overcast and humid conditions that rocked Australia and set up a grandstand finish after dinner.

West Indies have not beaten Australia in a Test match since 2003 and their last Test win in Australia was in February 1997.

There were fears of the day’s play being majorly interrupted after heavy showers lashed Brisbane overnight and in the morning. But the bad weather cleared and play resumed on schedule with Australia resuming at 60 for 2 and needing a further 156 runs.

After starting aggressively late on day three, with his driving a standout, Smith focused on picking off the bowling for singles. But Green was anchored to the crease and intent on survival as Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph bowled on a dangerous length outside off stump.

Green scored just 13 off his first 54 deliveries before he pounced on a rare Roach delivery that strayed on the pads to notch his first boundary. He was gifted three runs in the next over after a hash of a fielding attempt at mid-off from skippr Kraigg Brathwaite.

Smith looked comfortable until being squared up by a menacing delivery from Alzarri Joseph that flew through the vacant third slip to bring up the 50-run partnership.

West Indies needed a spark and Shamar Joseph made an immediate impact when he came into the attack by producing a thick edge from Green that flew over the slips.

Green started to settle until Joseph produced a rearing delivery that hit his back elbow and fell onto the stumps. He then on the next delivery delivered a scintillating yorker that clean bowled Head and left Australia stunned.

It completed a king pair for Head, who suffered his third golden duck in his last six innings. Joseph was unable to complete a hat-trick, but soon had Marsh edging to second slip and clean bowled Alex Carey with another gem of a yorker.

Starc decided to take on the bowling and it proved effective until he holed out. Play was extended by 20 minutes after Joseph dismissed Cummins, but Smith and Lyon held firm.

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