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Australia Cruise to Win

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West Indies cricket is not what it once was, but even by their recent standards this has been a miserable year for them. They have only avoided defeat in two Test matches this year, both results coming against England. After their thrashing at the hands of Australia in the first game of the Test series between the two nations, even the most optimistic of Windies supporters would have struggled to predict a win in their final Test of the year.

West Indies won the toss and put their opponents into bat, a decision that proved to be a mistake. Joe Burns had been under pressure going into the match, but he rose to the occasion. A magnificent hundred put to bed any doubts there may have been over his position. Five Australians batted in their first innings, and four of them scored centuries. David Warner was the only man to miss out as the returning Usman Khawaja, captain Steve Smith and ever dependable Adam Voges all reached three figures as Australia declared with 551 runs on the board.

With the bowlers underperforming, the West Indies needed one of their openers to post a big score. Kraigg Brathwaite and Rajindra Chandrika both failed to make significant scores. Darren Bravo held a faltering innings together. At one point the Windies were 83-6, but 81 from Bravo and 59 from Carlos Brathwaite helped the West Indies reach 271. James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon were the pick of the Australian, taking four wickets each to put the hosts in control of the match.

Unsurprisingly Australia came out swinging with a lead of 280. Burns and Warner both fell cheaply but a half century form Khawaja and a run-a-ball 70 from Smith saw the Aussies reach 179-3, a total they were happy to declare on.

The West Indies top order again failed to make any significant impact with the bat. All of the top five batsman reached double figures but none went past 50. It was left to Denesh Ramdin and Jason Holder to save some pride for the West Indies. Both reached fifty to take the tourists to a respectable score of 282, 177 runs short of their target.

With one Test match left to play between the two sides, Australia already have the series sewn up and will be strong favourites to make it 3-0. Australia will be hoping to continue to improve in 2016 as they recover from their Ashes defeat, but the West Indies still look a long way off being competitive in Test cricket.

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