Millennium Post

Voges, Marsh tons spell trouble for West Indies

Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh pounded tons in a triple-century unbroken stand to crush the dispirited West Indies and put Australia in command of the first Test in Hobart on Thursday.

In a grim foreboding of what lies ahead for the maligned Caribbean tourists in the three-Test series, Australia cruised effortlessly to 438 for three at stumps on the opening day with the West Australian pair taking the game away from the Windies.

It was the most runs scored by Australia on an opening day of a Test against the West Indies.

At the close, Voges was unbeaten on 174 with Marsh not out 139 in a unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 317.

Voges slammed the fastest century for Australia in Hobart, his ton coming off 100 balls and eclipsing another West Australian Adam Gilchrist’s hundred off 110 balls against Pakistan at the venue in 1999.

It was Voges’s third Test century and second against the West Indies after scoring an unbeaten 130 on his Test debut in Dominica last June.

Marsh in scoring his third Test century and first at home also posed a dilemma for selectors whether he will make way as a replacement for the imminent return of Usman Khawaja from a hamstring injury.

The West Indies had got themselves into a reasonable position to have Australia at 121 for three at lunch with key batsmen David Warner (64) and skipper Steve Smith (10) back in the dressing room.

But Voges and Marsh batted through the remaining two sessions without difficulty to leave the West Indies in despair. Voges reached his Test century on the penultimate ball before tea, scampering through for two with Marsh taking the risk running to the danger end. 

The West Indies did not help their cause with a painfully slow over rate. They bowled only 50 overs in the first two sessions of play and needed to call on part-time spinners to get to 89 of the regulation 90 overs under the threat of disciplinary action from the match referee Chris Broad. While Australia rollicked along, they lost three wickets in a breezy first session of play, as openers Warner and Joe Burns set about helping themselves to the West Indian bowling attack.

But in a key breakthrough, Warner, who was dropped on four, was out nearing lunch for 64 off 61 balls to a leg-side catch by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.

It was a big relief for Ramdin, who had dropped Warner in the second over from a tough chance off Kemar Roach, diving across first slip with his outstretched left glove.

The tourists had two other successes in the morning session with muscular paceman Shannon Gabriel bowling Burns on the top of middle stump for 33 in the 11th over.

Warrican, picked as the West Indies spin option ahead of wrist spinner Devendra Bishoo, then had Smith caught by Jermaine Blackwood at first slip for 10.

Gabriel left the field with ankle trouble and will be further assessed overnight, a team spokesman said.
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