West Indies Lose And We Can All Go Home Early. Phew

29/12/2015 7:11 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Australian players celebrate after the final wicket of West Indies' Jerome Taylor during their cricket test match in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

In the end, everyone got what they wanted as Australia beat the West Indies by 177 runs in the second Test at the MCG.

Australia got the win to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead. The West Indies earned a little credibility after each of their seven top batsmen made a decent a start. Channel Nine got a full day of cricket which kept viewers and a certain fast food franchise happy. The Australian players got the day off tomorrow, which they'll all appreciate.

And the rest of us also get the day off watching the cricket, which let's be honest, is no small mercy.

Steve Smith's surprise overnight declaration -- setting the Windies 460 to win -- was somewhere between generous and arrogant. His message was clear: we believe we can get this done today and we want to get this done today.

It was also somewhere between selfless and self-interested. Selfless, obviously, because Smith was 70 not out with yet another Test century beckoning. Self-interested because who wants to come back on a Wednesday with more seagulls than spectators in the MCG? And who can blame him for thinking that way?

But the Australians nearly had to suit up for a fifth day. The bowlers took until the shadows were longer than Ian Chappell's stories to finish things off. Mitchell Marsh was the star, chiming in with four wickets. It's a shame he hasn't had a chance to make more runs this series and prove his worth as an all-rounder.

Nathan Lyon was his usual Nathan Lyony self -- which is to say probing and nagging. Like a honey badger, he is about 10 times more dangerous than he looks. James Pattinson also bowled with venom, looking very much like a man who doesn't intend to depart the Australian team again for a very long time.

The only disappointment was Josh Hazlewood, who went wicketless for the match and who succumbed to James Pattinsonitis, a debilitating condition where your front foot creeps ahead of white lines. Whether Hazlewood plays in Sydney is an interesting one. Australian Test cricketers are generally not rested from any Test. You always play your best team, no matter what.

But the world is changing. These Windies didn't totally suck, but that's about the best you can say for them. If a rested Josh Hazlewood means Australia has a better chance against the Kiwis in New Zealand later this summer, then selectors will probably give him a spell.

Anyway, we can all get a little less square-eye time tomorrow and go for a swim or something. That's all you really need to know about another largely forgettable one-sided Test match.

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