Nathan Lyon claims 100th home test wicket as Australia spin Windies into trouble
Kraigg Brathwaite, with 85, one of few shining lights for tourists as they battle to 207 for six at stumps on rain-hit opening day of third cricket test
Nathan Lyon claimed his 100th test cricket wicket in Australia with the dismissal of top-scoring opener Kraigg Brathwaite late on the opening day of the rain-hit third test against the West Indies in Sydney on Sunday.
Brathwaite had defied Australia’s bowlers and two rain delays before he gave away his wicket late in the day to Lyon for 85.
Brathwaite, one of the few shining lights in a dismal Windies tour with 94 in the first Hobart test, was in sight of his fifth test century before he fell to Lyon.
It gave the Australia off-spinner his 100th test wicket in Australia and 184th scalp overall.
At the close, after 75 overs were squeezed in around two lengthy rain interruptions, the West Indies were 207 for six with Denesh Ramdin on 23 and Carlos Brathwaite belting two sixes and four fours in his unbeaten 35 after winning the toss.
“I’m pretty proud of that. It’s a pretty big achievement for myself. I knew I was close, but I didn’t know the exact number,” Lyon said of his century of home test wickets.
“It’s a big challenge for me, it’s spinning pretty big and it’s got decent bounce. It’s a challenge for me to try to hit the stumps. I’m enjoying that challenge right now.”
Australia have already retained the Frank Worrell Trophy after huge wins in the first two tests and are chasing a 3-0 series clean sweep.
Brathwaite, who along with Darren Bravo has been the best-performing batsman in the series for the struggling visitors, was deceived by Lyon’s extra bounce and attempted to steer the ball past slip. But instead he dollied a catch off his glove to Steve Smith at slip.
Brathwaite’s dismissal was quickly followed by the wicket of skipper Jason Holder, who was instinctively caught by Joe Burns at short leg for one off left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe.
Brathwaite watched four batting partners come and go as Australia used two recognised spinners in Lyon and O’Keefe for the first time in a home test for a decade.
The West Indies, who are playing in their first test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 15 years, have not won a test in Australia since 1997.