Debutant Joseph gives West Indies some hope

West Indies' Alzarri Joseph (L) bowls during the day one of the first cricket Test match between Australia and the West Indies at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide on 17 January 2024.AFP

Debutant Shamar Joseph gave the West Indies some hope after taking two top-order wickets during Australia's reply to the visitors' first innings total of 188 in the opening Test in Adelaide Wednesday.

Australia were 59-2 at stumps, with Usman Khawaja not out 30 and Cameron Green on six.

Australia were only 129 runs behind, but with key batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne back in the pavilion.

Earlier, Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss and sent the West Indies in to bat on a cool and overcast morning, a decision that proved fruitful when the visitors were reduced to 133-9.

But Joseph, playing only his sixth first class match, gave the score some respectability with a breezy 36 off only 41 balls.

The best was still to come for the 24-year-old, who came on as first change and had Smith caught at third slip with his first ball in Test cricket.

It was Smith's first outing at the top of the order since taking over from the now-retired David Warner, and may raise some concerns in the Aussie camp regarding the belligerent left-hander's long-term replacement.

Joseph was not done, following the Smith wicket with that of Labuschagne, caught on the hook by Gudakesh Motie at deep fine leg to leave Australia 45-2.

Things could have been even better for the Windies had wicketkeeper Josh Da Silva not dropped Khawaja on one, a catch he should have taken.

Earlier, Josh Hazlewood took 4-44, including his 250th Test wicket, and Cummins 4-41 as Australia ran through the West Indies batting line-up.

Hazlewood said the wicket had played a bit differently from how it usually did in Adelaide.

"The wicket was an interesting one, not much pace and bounce and the odd one nipped around. I love playing here," he said.

"You don't have to bowl too quick, just hang around the off stump.

"Hopefully we bat the whole day tomorrow."

Australia had gone into the Test making only one change from the team that beat Pakistan 3-0 earlier in the summer, bringing in Cameron Green for the retired Warner.

It was a different story for the West Indies, who gave debuts to Joseph and all-rounders Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves.

Windies skittled out

West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul began sedately, content to leave as many balls as possible.

Cummins brought himself on in the 10th over with immediate results, a fuller ball enticing Chanderpaul into an expansive drive, only to slice the ball to gully where Green used all his height to take a comfortable catch.

Cummins then removed Brathwaite with a beautiful ball that was angled in, then straightened and took the top of off stump to leave the West Indies 27-2 after the first hour.

Alick Athanaze and Kirk McKenzie then steadied the ship and looked to take the West Indies to lunch at two down, but with the score on 52, Athanaze opted to leave a Hazlewood delivery only to see the ball cannon into his off stump.

It was Hazlewood's 250th wicket in Test cricket, meaning the four main bowlers in Australia's attack -- Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Cummins and Nathan Lyon -- have all reached that milestone.

Hazlewood continued after lunch with the wickets of Hodge (12), McKenzie (50) and Greaves (5) to leave the West Indies reeling at 108-6.

That became 132-7 when Cummins had Da Silva caught at deep square leg for six, before one run later they lost both Motie and Alzarri Joseph.

But Shamar Joseph rescued the situation, showing no fear as he reached his highest first class score, with Kemar Roach offering solid support.

"Their tail wagged and we needed to work in the last wicket stand," Hazlewood said.

The West Indies needed to make an early breakthrough and they put the disappointment of dropping Khawaja behind them with the important wicket of Smith.

There were some Australian nerves jangling when Labuschagne fell, but Khawaja and Green saw the home side safely to stumps.