Josh Hazlewood has smashed his career-best bowling display in Test cricket after spearheading Australia's crushing win over the West Indies in the first Test match in Adelaide. Hazlewood finished with extraordinary match figures of 9-79 as the Aussies romped to a dominant 10-wicket win in the first Test of the two-match series but was cruelly denied another impressive milestone.
Hazlewood left fans gobsmacked on day two at Adelaide Oval with a staggering opening spell of 4-2 from five overs that left the hapless Windies reeling. By the end of his sixth over, the veteran quick's figures had blown out somewhat to 4-11. The 33-year-old also starred with the ball in the West Indies' first innings, picking up four wickets (4-44) alongside Cummins (4-41) on day one.
The veteran quick was again at the centre of the action at the start of day three on Friday after completing the 11th five-wicket haul of his Test career. Fellow quick Mitchell Starc got the ball rolling for the Aussies on Friday by removing Joshua Da Silva in the fourth over after the Windies resumed day three on 6-73.
Starc collected his second wicket soon after when Alzarri Joseph (16) fished outside off stump and edged one to wicketkeeper Alex Carey to leave the tourists eight down. Hazlewood claimed his fifth scalp for the innings when he bowled Gudakesh Motie for three after the left-hander inexplicably decided to leave a delivery that crashed into the top of his stumps.
That left the Aussies with one wicket to go and Hazlewood facing the tantalising prospect of claiming the first 10-wicket haul of his illustrious Test career. Hazlewood reached his the 250-Test wicket milestone in the first innings but is among a list of Aussie greats, including Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie - who've taken more than 200 career Test wickets without taking 10 in a match.
Most Test wickets for Australia without achieving 10 wkts in a match:
310 - B Lee (1999 - 2008) (76 Tests)
259 - JN Gillespie (1996 - 2006) (71 Tests)
258 - JR Hazlewood (2014-24) (67 Tests)
228 - RR Lindwall (1946-60) (61 Tests)
221 - PM Siddle (2008-19) (67 Tests)#AusvWI
— Arthur_S (@allanholloway) January 19, 2024
Josh Hazlewood denied chance to complete career-first
With West Indies debutant and tailender Shamar Joseph digging in by making 15 runs from 12 balls, Cummins denied Hazlewood the chance to complete his 10-wicket match haul after replacing him with Nathan Lyon. The veteran Aussie off-spinner soon removed the Windies debutant via stumping to put an end to the the tourist's innings and Hazlewood's hopes of a career-first haul of 10 wickets for the match.
The decision by Cummins not to give Hazlewood more of a chance to bag the first 10-wicket match haul of his Test career is another example of the skipper's 'team before individual' mentality. Cummins also famously denied opener Usman Khawaja the chance to score a double century in the New Year's Test against South Africa at the SCG in 2023, when rain washed out the entire morning session and he declared with Khawaja on 195.
While Hazlewood will no doubt be disappointed that he missed out on bagging 10 wickets for the match, the 33-year-old should be extremely proud of his incredible display against the Windies. His five second innings scalps helped skittle the Windies for just 120, leaving Australia needing just 26 runs to complete a comfortable victory.
Hazlewood still in the Willis, Lee, Garner club, not getting 10 wickets.
Cummins recently got out of this club.
— sladl (@SteveSladl) January 19, 2024
11th test fifer for Josh hazlewood, 1 away from a first 10 wicket haul
— The Cricket Statistican (@BMWfanforever12) January 19, 2024
— Nakul Pande (@NakulMPande) January 19, 2024
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 19, 2024
Usman Khawaja hit in scary incident
It should have been a straightforward scenario for the Aussies but the home side were faced with a nasty scare when Khawaja was hit flush on the grill of his helmet after a short ball from Joseph. The Aussie opener seemed to get caught in two minds before trying to duck out of the way of the short ball at the last second.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 19, 2024
The ball looked as if it might have slipped through the grill on Khawaja's helmet and come into direct contact with the batter's jaw. The 37-year-old hunched over and appeared to spit out blood. He was then treated by Australian medical staff for several moments before eventually walking off, retired hurt.
Marnus Labuschagne joined Steve Smith at the crease and quickly hit the single required to complete a comfortable victory well inside three days. "Nice to have a couple of days off. We made use of the surface in both innings," Hazlewood said moments after the victory.
"I felt like I bowled just as well in the first half of the summer, without much result. With this attack, I felt it is relentless and someone picks up the wickets. Amazing debut, you wanna keep going on that. Smithy first wicket on the first ball in Test cricket, dream debut. Smithy was a bit nervous but he was good. Think he struggles in the quick ten-minute change but all good."
Hazlewood was overlooked as man-of-the-match, however, with local favourite Travis Head getting the honour after his first innings century. Head led the Aussie counter attack with an aggressive 119 off 134 balls that turned the game in Australia's favour.
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