Marnus Labuschagne century powers Australia to 293/2 against West Indies on Day 1 at Perth
Australia middle-order batsman Marnus Labuschagne celebrated the return of Test cricket after a long season of slam bang T20 version of the sport, with a fine century that powered his side to a strong total of 293/2 at stumps on the opening day of the first test at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Wednesday.
The right-handed No 3 Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne remained unbeaten on 154 from 270 balls with 16 boundaries in a fix as he post a couple of important partnerships in the middle to thwart the challenge thrown by the West Indies bowlers on a pace friendly pitch at the new stadium in Perth to put his team on top on the first day itself.
West Indies, who handed Test debut to the son of legendary cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul earlier in the day, opening batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul, used as many as seven bowling options but could not inflict the desired damage on the Australian side.
Jayden Seales was able to draw the first blood early on for the West Indies when he cleaned up the dangerous David Warner for 5 from 16 balls, following which Australia consolidated with the pair of Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja.
The two batsmen to be attached to the West Indies, adding 142 runs for the second wicket to put their side on a strong pedestal. While Marnus Labuschagne resume his favourite format Test cricket with the same approach, Usman Khawaja looked as fluent as ever in getting his half-century on the opening day of the Australian summer.
The left-handed Usman Khawaja made 65 from 149 balls with the help of 5 boundaries and 1 six and looked set for a big innings, but his stay in the middle was cut short by Kyle Mayers, who had him caught by wicket-keeper Joshua da Silva.
The dismissal of Usman Khawaja in the 52nd over of the innings brought about Steve Smith to the middle. In Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, Australia have a strong pairing who once again showed their batting prowess and dominated the West Indies bowlers for the remainder of the day to put the side in a commanding position.
The end of play on Wednesday, Marnus Labuschagne was batting on 154 not out from 263 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and a six, while Steve Smith reached 59 not out and looked set for yet another big total in the longest format as the Australian side embarked on a tough and challenging season of red-ball cricket.
It was his 8th century in his Test career which has so far played only 29 matches for right-handed Marnus Labuschagne, who was able to match his first-ever triple figure score against the Caribbean side on his maiden appearance. On the other hand, the better and Steve Smith brought his 37th Test half-century and third against the West Indies.