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World Test Championship

Lyon the hero as World Test Championship picture becomes clearer

Australia v West Indies, First Test

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Australia have boosted their chances of appearing at next year's ICC World Test Championship final with a hard-fought 164-run victory over a gallant West Indies in Perth on Sunday.

Veteran spinner Nathan Lyon was the hero with superb fourth-innings figures of 6/128 as Australia wrapped up the first Test of the series with more than one session remaining at Perth Stadium.

The victory sees Australia boost their lead at the top of the World Test Championship standings, with Pat Cummins' side now boasting a win-percentage of 72.73 percent following their triumph.

That is some 13 percent ahead of their closest challenger in second-placed South Africa and Australia can move further ahead at the top when they host the Proteas in a three-Test series that commences later this month.

First of all they will be looking to complete a series sweep over the West Indies, who are almost out of contention of making it to the World Test Championship final after the loss in Perth.

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Despite putting up some decent resistance on the final day, the Caribbean side lost their final three wickets for just 18 runs and now find themselves in sixth place on the World Test Championship standings with a 45 percent win-percentage.

It was Lyon's 21st five-wicket haul in Test cricket that proved the difference on the final day, with the experienced spinner grabbing the key wickets of Kyle Mayers and Kraigg Brathwaite (110) early on Sunday to overtake India great Ravi Ashwin and climb to eighth overall on the list of wicket-takers in Men's Test cricket.

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Roston Chase (55) and Alzarri Joseph (43) provided a glimmer of hope during the middle session with a partnership of 82, but Travis Head chimed in with the key scalp of Joseph and Lyon cleaned up the tail to ensure Australia retained the Frank Worrell Trophy.

The only bad news to come from the victory for the hosts was the question marks over the fitness of Cummins, who battled quad soreness over the final two days of the match and did not bowl at all during West Indies' second innings.

Cummins will be monitored ahead of the second Test of the series in Adelaide and must be in some doubt for the contest that begins on December 8 and ahead of the three-match Test series against South Africa that starts later this month.

 

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