Australia sweeps West Indies test series with 419-run win

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Australia completed a series sweep with a lopsided 419-run victory Sunday in the day-night test at the Adelaide Oval, with pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland and Michael Neser snaring three wick-ets apiece as the West Indies were bundled out for 77 chasing an unlikely 497 to win.

West Indies resumed Day 4 at 38-4 with Devon Thomas and Jason Holder each on 8, still needing 459 for an unlikely win with six wickets in hand and six sessions remaining.

It was all over in the opening session, with the tourists losing six wickets for 39 runs. Australia won the first test in Perth by 164 runs and was even more convincing in the second test at the Adelaide Oval, where it remains unbeaten in day-night tests. The Australians will play South Africa in a three-test series starting next Saturday at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The action was all one-sided on Sunday, with West Indies falling to their worst loss, in terms of runs, to Australia.

The West Indies had only one scoring shot be-fore Starc got an edge behind to end the 21-run fifth-wicket partnership by having Thomas (12) caught behind on the last ball of his fourth over.

The veteran left-arm paceman completed another maiden over next and struck again with the first ball of the following over to bowl former skipper Jason Holder (11) with a delivery that swung late and took out off stump as the West Indies slumped to 49-6.

Neser and wicketkeeper Alex Carey combined to take two wickets in an over as the West Indies fell to 76-8.

Carey stood up at the stumps and gloved a de-flected, juggling catch to remove Roston Chase (13) on the first ball of the over and was up again to catch Joshua Da Silva’s (15) thin edge on the last ball of the over.

Nathan Lyon bowled Alzarri Joseph for a sec-ond-ball duck to collect his 450th career test wicket before Neser and Carey combined again to remove No. 11 Marquino Mindley. It was Carey’s sixth catch of the innings.

“A disappointing second game for sure,” West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said. “We thought in the first game we showed some fight … but very disappointing, we didn’t see the fight here at all.”

Brathwaite said the West Indies had the talent to challenge top-ranked Australia, but needed to learn from the heavy loss.

“It’s for us to believe in ourselves and learn from all the experiences, all the challenges you go through,” he said. “That is a key to going forward and getting better consistently as a test team. A lot of the guys, this was their first time to Australia so the experience would help.”

The West Indies hasn’t had a test win over Aus-tralia since 2003 and hasn’t won a test series against the Australians since 1992-93.

At Adelaide, the Australians dominated imme-diately after stand-in captain Steve Smith won the toss, with Travis Head (175) and Marnus La-buschagne (163) posting big hundreds to help the home team to 511-7 against an injury-depleted West Indies bowling attack before declaring on the second day.

Labuschagne, who scored a double-century and a century in Perth last week, was voted player of the series.

Without skipper Pat Cummins and Josh Hazle-wood in the Australian bowling unit, Neser and Boland stepped up, combining with Lyon and Starc to restrict West Indies to 214 in reply. Only Tage-narine Chanderpaul and Anderson Phillip, who were both run out on Day 3, showed genuine composure against the Australian attack in the first innings.

Set a target of 497 after Australia declared its second innings a 199-6, the West Indies’ top order crumbled under lights as Boland took three wickets in an over with the pink ball to have the visitors reeling at 15-3 late Saturday and Starc removed Chanderpaul before stumps.

While Australia’s batters dominated throughout the series, Smith said the bowling group “did the job for us like they’ve done so many times for us in the pink-ball games. We are undefeated and know how to play with the pink ball — it was another good week.”—AP