Australia's Adam Voges created history on Thursday by becoming the oldest man to score a hundred on Test debut. Voges remained unbeaten on 130, as the Aussies made 318 in response to West Indies' paltry first innings total of 148, and took control of the Dominica Test. West Indies had their chances to restrict Australia as Devendra Bishoo came up with an excellent performance, claiming 6 for 80, including three big ones in the pre-lunch session. However, Australia's tail flourished in the company of Voges, and West Indies' own poor fielding added to their frustration.
Voges, who overtook Dave Houghton's record as the oldest centurion on Test debut, displayed ample patience during his long stay at the crease, a virtue which has carried him as he waited for a Test opportunity for over a decade. Even as his much experienced colleagues were undone by Bishoo's magic, Voges remained unflustered, and his calmness seemed to rub off on the tail as well. Voges and Hazelwood added 97 for the last wicket, which enabled Voges to get past his hundred after at one stage it seemed he would be left stranded. Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon also provided him good support as Australia rebuilt.
Voges, who restricted his aggressive approach, and was happy placing the ball in the gaps, only tried to open up after reaching his half -century. He was lucky as Jermaine Blackwood could not hold on to a pull off Marlon Samuels' batting. Shai Hope dropped him off Jerome Taylor's bowling, but this time he was past his hundred. Voges reached 98 by slamming Taylor down the ground, and was unbeaten on 130 when Samuels finished off the innings by bowling Hazelwood for 39, who himself had been dropped on 33. Earlier, Johnson and Lyon contributed 20 and 22 respectively.
West Indies would have been hoping for a much better day when Bishoo got them off to an unbelievably great start, the first time in years that a West Indies slow bowler has come up with such a commanding performance. Bishoo sent back Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in the morning session to break the back of Australia's batting. Smith is rarely deceived by spin, but Bishoo managed to get a ball past him, beating him with drift as Smith charged out of his crease. Watson then edged the bowler to second slip when on 11. Haddin was undone by Bishoo in Warne-style. He pitched one on leg, and got it to hit Haddin's off bail. He couldn't get past Voges though.
Having recovered amazingly well, Australia also finished on a high, claiming both the West Indian openers before stumps. Hope edged Johnson to second slip, and was held by Clarke while Mitchell Starc disturbed Kraigg Braithwaite's stumps with an inswinger. West Indies finished the day at 25 for 2, a deficit of 145 runs staring at them. Wouldn't they have loved Shivnarine Chanderpaul in such a situation? Alas, they have to start looking for someone one to the job.
--By A Cricket Correspondent