Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of day four of the first Test between Australia and West Indies in Perth.
Australia has declared with a lead of 497 after Marnus Labuschagne scored a rapid fire century to ram home the hosts’ advantage on Saturday.
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The Aussies resumed at 1/29 with David Warner and Labuschagne at the crease and motored through the first session to be 2/182 at the lunch break when they pulled the pin and declared.
Starc drops but then gets his revenge
A diving Mitchell Starc couldn’t hold onto what would have been a spectacular catch, leaving Cameron Green frustrated and slapping the turf.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul sent one high into the Perth sky as screams of “catch” broke out, but the son of a West Indies great survived as the ball hit the deck.
The very next over Starc made up for his drop in the outfield by knocking over Chanderpaul.
Bowling from around the wicket, Starc’s delivery reared up on Chanderpaul who chopped back onto his stumps with an inside edge.
West Indies flawless display
Australia called time at lunch and sent the tourists in, but the second session didn’t pan out how the Aussies had hoped as the West Indies openers took the chocolates.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul and captain Kraigg Brathwaite combined for 84 runs as the Aussie bowling attack toiled away without skipper Pat Cummins.
In strange scenes, stand in skipper Steve Smith tossed the ball to Marnus Labuschagne who opted to bowl mediums.
If that wasn’t enough the superstar batter began throwing down bouncers.
Steve Smith captain again
Pat Cummins is suffering with soreness in his right quadriceps and hasn’t taken to the field at Perth Stadium for the fourth innings.
News Corp reports Cummins had an MRI on Friday night and may not bowl in the remainder of the Test match unless required.
Vice-captain Steve Smith has taken the reins as skipper and could be set to captain for just the second time since the sandpaper scandal if Cummins doesn’t recover for the second Test, which starts on Thursday.
Cricket Australia said in a statement: “Pat Cummins is experiencing some mild right sided quadricep soreness.
“He will continue to be monitored by team medical staff and his availability to bowl in the second innings will be assessed on an ongoing basis.”
Marnus makes history with rapid century
Labuschagne was given a life when he was caught off a no ball when he was on 19, but he more than made the most of his second chance.
After passing 50, Australia’s No. 3 was clearly conscious of an imminent declaration and raced to triple figures just before the lunch break.
At lunch he was on 104 off 100 balls, achieving the rare feat of scoring a hundred runs in a session after he started the day on three not out.
It was Labuschagne’s ninth Test century and his second in this Test match following his double century in the first innings.
The 28-year-old became just the third Australian to score a century and double century in the same Test, joining Doug Walters and Greg Chappell.
Only eight players have achieved the feat in the history of Test cricket — Labuschagne, Walters, Chappell, Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakkara, Sunil Gavaskar, Graeme Gooch, Greg Chappell, Doug Walters, Lawrence Rowe.
David Warner was caught at short leg for 48. Steve Smith joined Labuschagne at the crease and was unbeaten on 20.
No ball gives Marnus a life
Labuschagne should have been out for 19 after he top-edged a nasty bouncer from Joseph Alzarri to gully early on day four.
But replays showed Alzarri had fractionally oversteppeed, meaning the delivery was a no ball and Labuschagne was recalled to the crease.
Windies legend Brian Lara said on Fox Cricket: “Alzarri Joseph must be thinking, ‘What do I have to do right? He’s not on the board in terms of wickets, troubled Marnus this morning.
Adam Gilchrist said the no ball call was “excruciatingly close”.
Isa Guha added: “Literally a fine, fine line. That is a millimetre.”
It’s not the start to the day the West Indies would have wanted as Australia push the lead beyond 400.
Aussie bowlers make history
On Friday, the hosts bowled out the West Indies for 283 as Pat Cummins claimed his 200th wicket in Test cricket.
The captain’s became the latest — and quickest — of the bowling quartet to reach 200 wickets, while Nathan Lyon became the ninth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket history.
Cummins’ first wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite was his 200th for Australia and made our Test quartet of the captain, Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon the first Aussie attack to all have more than 200 wickets each.
Not to be outdone, Lyon added his 440th wicket to move to outright ninth on the all-time Test wicket-taker tally ahead of Dale Steyn and just two behind Indian tweaker Ravichandran Ashwin.
Meanwhile, Australian legend Ricky Ponting has returned to the Channel 7 commentary box after he was rushed to hospital on Friday following a heart scare.