Labuschagne, Travis Head centuries lift Australia to 330-3 on Day 1 - Eastern Mirror
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Labuschagne, Travis Head centuries lift Australia to 330-3 on Day 1

By AP Updated: Dec 08, 2022 11:14 pm

Adelaide (Australia), Dec. 8 (AP):  Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head posted unbeaten centuries in a 199-run stand to lead Australia to 330-3 against West Indies at stumps on day one Thursday of the second cricket test.

Labuschagne scored his third century in as many innings against West Indies and was 120 not out at Adelaide Oval.

Head was 114 not out after making his first test century on his home ground in the day-night match.

Both teams made injury-enforced changes following Australia’s 164-run win in the series-opener in Perth last weekend. Marquino Mindley, one of three changes for the depleted West Indies, left the field with a hamstring strain after bowling just two overs on debut.

The Australians got on top early after stand-in captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first.

Usman Khawaja shared a 34-run opening stand with David Warner (21) and 95 with Labuschagne for the second wicket before his dismissal for 62 triggered the only slight wobble in Australia’s innings.

Part-time seamer Devon Thomas was the unlikely bowler to break the second-wicket stand, trapping Khawaja lbw from around the wicket on the first ball of the 42nd over.

Khawaja, who surpassed 1,000 test runs in the calendar year when he reached 42, was given out and immediately reviewed the decision, but the third umpire confirmed the dismissal and Australia was 129-2.

In the next over, former skipper Jason Holder took a return catch off his own bowling to dismiss Smith for a rare duck as Australia lost two wickets for two runs in 11 deliveries.

But Labuschagne, the No. 1-ranked batter in test cricket, and Head counterattacked in quick time, restoring Australia’s dominance.

Labuschagne cut Thomas to the point boundary to raise his 10th century in his 30th test, and third in succession in this series following his 204 and 104 not out in Perth. He’s just the 10th batter to post two triple-figure scores immediately after a double-century and only the second Australian.

Head was next, reaching triple figures for the fifth time in a test with a driven boundary through mid-off, continuing his dominance through the off-side. His century came off 125 deliveries and contained 10 boundaries, and made up for the disappointment of being dismissed for 99 in Perth.

“It was a long week — nice for the next one to get across the line,” he said. “Now I can forget about that.”

Head said Labuschagne’s third consecutive triple-figure score was all the more impressive considering it was against the pink ball in a day-night test match.

 “A chanceless one as well, which was nice,” Head said. “He played beautifully. When you’re in the form that he is, to do what he’s done, he’s got a ridiculous amount of hundreds in the first innings as well to set games up.

 “We’ve started off very nicely.”

West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite cycled through seven bowlers in pursuit of a wicket on a pitch that favored the bat, with only Joseph (1-81), Holder (1-42) and Thomas (1-43) getting any rewards.

By AP Updated: Dec 08, 2022 11:14:45 pm