CANBERRA, Australia, – Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph’s late three-wicket burst with the second new ball hauled West Indies back into contention after a trio of half-centuries had threatened to give the Australian Prime Minister’s XI complete control on day one of the four-day first class tour match Wednesday.
The hosts were marching along at 278 for six in the final session before Joseph (3-52) intervened with a sharp spell to send the last three wickets tumbling for 19 runs in the space of 39 balls under lights at Manuka Oval.
At the close, the Prime Minister’s XI were 297 for nine, a total built on half-centuries from Matt Renshaw (81), Marcus Harris (73) and Peter Handscomb (55).
“I think this game is a game of patience. You never know, you can bowl well in [a] session but you have to stay patient and your reward may come at the end of the game,” Joseph said afterwards.
“There was just a little change of plan, just trying something different to try and slow the scoring down and unsettle the batsmen.”
His fireworks were required after the Prime Minister’s XI got away to a flying start, Renshaw and Harris putting on a rollicking 134 for the first wicket to dominate early.
Renshaw, a 26-year-old left-hander who played the last of his 11 Tests four years ago, counted 10 fours in a 168-ball knock while Harris, a 30-year-old left-hander who suited up in a Test as recently as January, faced 124 balls and struck 13 fours.
They carried their side to the first break at 93 without loss and extended their domination following the resumption before pacer Jayden Seales got the breakthrough when he had Harris caught at first slip by Kyle Mayers.
Renshaw added 28 for the second wicket with Henry Hunt (13) and another 28 for the third with Handscomb before finally departing at 190 for three, flirting with a wide delivery from left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer and feathering a catch behind.
Veteran seamer Kemar Roach quickly removed captain Josh Inglis without scoring to a juggling catch at first slip by substitute Jason Holder but the Prime Minister’s XI recovered through a 48-run, fifth wicket partnership between Handscomb and Aaron Hardie (23).
Off-spinner Roston Chase (2-72) accounted for both eventually, first rattling Hardie’s stumps with one that spun back sharply and then having Handscomb stumped in his very next over, after the right-hander faced 86 balls and struck seven fours.
Joseph then took centre stage, clean bowling Michael Neser (10) as the right-hander missed a drive, yorking Joel Paris (2) before getting Ashton Agar to play on for 33, to what proved to be the day’s final delivery.
PM’s XI 297 for nine (Matt Renshaw 81, Marcus Harris 73, Peter Handscomb 55, Ashton Agar 33; Alzarri Joseph 3-52, Roston Chase 2-72) vs WEST INDIES