Australia took a grip on the first Test in Perth Friday with Pat Cummins bagging his 200th wicket as they bowled out a resolute West Indies then piled on more runs to stretch their lead to a commanding 344. The visitors were dismissed for 283 in the final session on day three after the hosts declared their first innings at 598-4 on the back of double centuries from Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith. David Warner, on 17, and Labuschagne, on three, then hammered home Australia’s advantage after they opted against the follow-on to bat again, with Usman Khawaja the only casualty, out for five as the reached 29-1.
The West Indies, who have not won a Test on Australian soil in 25 years, started on 74-0 and made it to lunch with the loss of just debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul for 51 and with Nkrumah Bonner retiring hurt after a blow to the head from a Cameron Green delivery.
But Cummins bowled fellow skipper and dangerman Kraigg Brathwaite for 64 soon after the break — his 200th Test wicket — and the momentum swung back in Australia’s favor.
Three wickets fell in the second session before Mitchell Starc took the new ball and proved almost unplayable, removing Kyle Mayers and Joshua Da Silva in four deliveries.
Green was thrown into the cauldron for his second spell and accounted for the stubborn Shamarh Brooks, Bonner’s concussion substitute as they lost 6-38.
Cummins took 3-34 and Starc 3-51, but Australia also bowled an incredible 27 leg byes among 38 extras.
Brathwaite and debutant Chanderpaul — son of West Indies great Shivnarine — had negotiated 25 hostile overs before stumps on Thursday.
Starc said he, Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood had bowled too short and they adjusted accordingly on Friday.
It paid immediate dividends with Hazlewood extracting a nick from Chanderpaul’s bat in the first over and David Warner collecting comfortably at slip.
Chanderpaul’s demise for 51 came to a ball after he reached a maiden Test half-century to go with the century he made in a warm-up game last week to showcase his immense potential.
Cummins was a constant threat, regularly beating the bat, but Brathwaite, who resumed on 18, showed plenty of grit and fight to bring up a 28th Test half-century.
But he had no answer to Cummins in the fourth over after lunch with a perfect delivery clattering into his off stump, ending a 166-ball inning.
Bonner took a blow to the head on eight and continued with a new helmet after treatment for another six overs, adding eight more runs, but eventually left the field.
Left-hander Myers came in for Brathwaite but never settled and chopped on from Starc with the West Indies losing two wickets for seven runs.
Veteran Jason Holder steadied the ship with a gutsy 27 before prodding a catch to Warner at slip off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Starc took the new ball after tea and bowled a maiden before a full, straight delivery rattled the pads of Jermaine Blackwood, who was out lbw for a gritty 36.
The big left-armer then cleaned up Joshua Da Silva before Green took over as the West Indies collapsed.