CRICKET : Australia recorded a comprehensive innings-and-65-run win over West Indies late on day three of the opening Test at the Gabba, but the visitors unearthed a star of the future with opener Adrian Barath notching a record-breaking century on debut.
Australia recorded a comprehensive innings-and-65-run win over West Indies late on day three of the opening Test at the Gabba, but the visitors unearthed a star of the future with opener Adrian Barath notching a record-breaking century on debut.
Barath, 19, overtook George Headley as the youngest West Indian to score a Test ton, and was also the youngest man to plunder a century against Australia since Indian prodigy Sachin Tendulkar did it almost 18 years ago.
But he received little support, with the Windies crashing to 187 all out in their second innings, handing Australia an early win after captain Ricky Ponting enforced the follow-on after lunch.
Ben Hilfenhaus snared figures of three for 20 from his seven-over opening spell, making light work of West Indies captain Chris Gayle (one) and talented veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul (two) before all-rounder Shane Watson finally brought an end to Barath’s magic.
Hilfenhaus’ efforts saw him earn man-of-the-match honours, but there was no doubting the day belonged to the debutant, who crafted the only century for the match in some style.
Amongst Barath’s impressive three-hour knock that produced 104 runs there were 20 fours (one of them all run) and a mere five singles.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of Barath’s feat was the fact he genuinely propped up the tourists’ second innings.
Aside from Barath, Dwayne Bravo (23), Denesh Ramdin (16) and Sulieman Benn (15 not out) were the only others to make it into double figures in the second innings as West Indies were humbled, losing 15 wickets in total on Saturday.
Australia claimed five wickets in the opening session to roll the visitors for a total of 228 in their first innings and, after some deliberation, Ponting opted for the Windies to bat again after lunch.
It was just the third time in Ponting’s career as skipper that he has opted to make use of the follow-on and it proved to be a masterstroke as they secured a comfortable victory with just over two days to spare.