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Voges strikes classy century

Cricket

Late bloomer Adam Voges has picked up where Australia’s openers left off to notch a classy century in the first Test against the West Indies in Hobart.

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At tea on Thursday’s first day, Australia are on top at 3-257 after winning the toss with Voges 100 not out off as many balls.

He has dominated a 136-run fourth-wicket stand with an under-pressure Shaun Marsh (42no).

Openers David Warner (64 off 61 balls) and Joe Burns (33) made the Windies pay for a nervous start, feasting on wayward bowling.

They crushed 15 boundaries as Australia cruised to 0-70 off the first 10 overs in scenes more reminiscent of a Big Bash League game than a Test.

But the Windies appeared to turn the tables by claiming the prized scalps of captain Steve Smith (10) and his deputy Warner just before lunch to reduce the hosts to 3-121 at the break.

Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-70) had both Smith and Warner caught behind as Australia lost 2-17.

But Voges came out swinging after lunch as the Windies again lost their way.

Voges and Marsh put on 136 runs in the middle session.

Voges, 36, thrashed 10 fours to reach his fourth Test half century off just 55 balls.

Now he has his third Test ton in his keeping and first since his 118 in Perth last month against New Zealand.

Voges made his first-class debut 13 years ago but did not earn a baggy green until June on this year’s tour of the Windies.

He averaged 71.25 in this summer’s series against New Zealand but the veteran was looking over his shoulder with the likes of Cameron Bancroft, 23, and Queensland’s Matt Renshaw, 19, on the rise.

He will be breathing a little easier – as will Marsh.

The WA left-hander was content to play the support role as Voges attacked, easing his way into form with the selection axe poised.

Marsh was expected to be the man to make way for the returning Usman Khawaja (hamstring) for the Boxing Day Test.

However, he might ensure a selection headache with a big Hobart score.

When Australia reached 200 off 247 balls with 34 fours, Marsh had contributed just 13 of their 83-run stand.

Voges broke the shackles after lunch with four boundaries in one Warrican over to move to 27.

– AAP

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