First Test Match

Australia v West Indies, 2000-01

At Brisbane, November 23, 24, 25. Australia won by an innings and 126 runs. Toss: Australia. Test debut: M. I. Black.
This Test may be summed up in the figures of its central player, McGrath, who bowled 33 overs to take ten for 27 and ensure that Australia would equal the West Indians' record of 11 consecutive Test wins. The pitch - put in place at the end of the Olympic soccer tournament and so providing the first instance of a drop-in pitch in Test cricket - was seamy but slow. On it, West Indies did not so much explode as erode, scoring at 1.9 an over in their innings of 82 (their third total in double figures since June) and 124. Australia also laboured to make 332 at 2.9 an over, but that was more than enough for a resounding innings win. Proceeded at once at a crawl and a rush, the match was over by its scheduled mid-point.

Australia preferred MacGill to Miller as substitute for Warne, and brought in Bichel at a couple of days' notice when Gillespie's hamstring twanged. West Indies kept faith with Sarwan, despite his pair against Victoria, and gave a debut to the burly fast bowler, Marlon Black. Sent in, the visitors lasted an hour without losing a wicket, and it took the unlikely agency of MacGill's leg-spin to launch the procession back to the dressing-room. McGrath, brought back after Lara's arrival, needed just one ball, an away-cutter, to execute his contract and begin his demolition of the innings. Wicket to wicket, he took six for eight in 68 balls, overtaking Craig McDermott (291) to become Australia's third-highest wicket-taker, and after three and a half tortuous hours West Indies were out for 82. The lowest point of ineptitude came when Sarwan, seeking a second leg-bye, ran himself out by half the length of the pitch for his third duck in a row.

11-24 (5-6, 6-18)H. IronmongerAustralia v South Africa at Melbourne1931-32
10-27 (6-17, 4-10)G. D. McGrathAustralia v West Indies at Brisbane2000-01
15-28 (7-17, 8-11) J. BriggsEngland v South Africa at Cape Town1888-89
11-31 (5-2, 6-29)E. R. H. ToshackAustralia v India at Brisbane1947-48
15-45 (7-38, 8-7)G. A. LohmannEngland v South Africa at Port Elizabeth1895-96
11-48 (5-28, 6-20)G. A. R. LockEngland v West Indies at The Oval1957
10-49 (5-29, 5-20)F. E. WoolleyEngland v Australia at The Oval1912
Research: Gordon Vince

Australia were in front that night, the openers raising three figures before Slater ran out Hayden when he was well set. Debutant Black besieged them the next morning, taking three wickets in his first four overs of the day and cornering Mark Waugh for two and a half hours while he made 24. But Steve Waugh, Ponting and the dashing Gilchrist strained at and finally broke the tethers. Lee crashed his maiden first-class half-century, adorning it with a straight six, and Australia led by 250. Walsh took only the last wicket.

The game was basically decided that night when the leaden-footed Campbell fell to McGrath in the first over and Lara, having swished him to square leg for four, essayed a hook again and skied a catch to the running keeper. On the third day the last rites took three hours, the always obdurate Chanderpaul batting through for an unbeaten 62. McGrath remained miserly, Lee bowled a lightning spell to shoot out Adams and Sarwan in one over, and MacGill bowled with impressive control. West Indies, insisting that their problems were temperamental and not technical, called in psychologist Rudi Webster.

Man of the Match: G. D. McGrath.
Attendance: 48,441.

© John Wisden & Co