Unstoppable Warner and Labuschagne batter Pakistan with twin tons

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29 Nov 2019 | 01:13 PM
authorCricket.com Staff

Unstoppable Warner and Labuschagne batter Pakistan with twin tons

The duo carried on from the previous Test thumping 166* and 126* respectively in an unbroken 294-run stand at Adelaide

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On a day where records fell like a pack of cards, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne continued their rich vein of form to help Australia take firm ascendancy of the second and final Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Both batsmen carried on from where they had left in Brisbane cracking back to back centuries. While Warner crashed an unbeaten 166 (228) which included 16 fours, Labuschagne slammed 126* (205), his innings studded with 17 fours. 

Despite the rain, Australia gave the 30,000-odd crowd plenty to cheer as they finished day 1 of the pink ball Test on a strong 302/1 after 73 overs. 

Australia have won each of the five day-night Tests they have played and the experience showed. Pakistan, on the other hand, looked nervous and the fact that they have lost their last 13 Tests on the bounce in Australia showed. 

Veteran seamer Mohammad Abbas, who tormented Australia when he took 17 wickets in two Tests in the UAE last October, returned in place of Imran Khan while 16-year-old pace sensation Naseem Shah was rested. That handed a debut to 19-year-old medium-fast right-armer Muhammad Musa, but, like in the first Test at Brisbane, none of them could tame Warner and Labuschagne.

After Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat, Pakistan had a glimmer of hope when Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s standout bowler, bagged the wicket of Burns in just the fourth over of the morning for 4. Shaping the ball away from the right-hander, he got an edge to Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps. However, that seemed to be the only ray of sunshine in the morning session for the visitors. 

Warner and Labuschagne both hit their straps early. The left-hander, in particular, was lethal against anything loose. Abbas, whose omission from the previous Test was criticised massively looked firmly out of sorts. His speeds throughout were in the mid-120 range and he could not produce the same kind of swing as well. 

Musa had a tough start to his Test career conceding 37 runs off his first seven overs. It might have been nerves, but his length was all over the place in his first spell. He was either too short or too full and Warner took full toll carting him for boundaries galore. 

The players were forced to remain in the dressing room for an extra two hours after tea from the scheduled resumption due to a persistent light drizzle, but when they returned Warner quickly brought up his 31st half-century.

The explosive opener got an inside edge for two runs, with his 50 coming courtesy of four careless overthrows -- the first time in five day-night Tests he had passed the mark.

He continued to pick off runs as he targeted a 23rd Test century, with Labuschagne quietly going about his business at the other end, notching his sixth 50 in his 11th Test with a boundary off Musa.

If Pakistan thought the overcast conditions, the pink ball and the floodlights will aid them in any way, they were wrong. Warner and Labuschagne both continued their surge not giving the opposition even one chance. While Warner relied more on the driving and cutting the ball, Labuschagne scored most of his runs with the flick. 

Yasir Shah was introduced as late as the 31st over and with the surface placid and the ball not turning much, both batsmen milked him with ease. The duo reached 139/1 at the dinner break and notched up a gear in the last session.

Warner soon after the break brought up his 23rd Test ton with a nudge off Yasir, further extending his remarkable run of form since the Ashes debacle. In eight innings across formats of the Australian summer, Warner has been dismissed only twice. This was also Warner’s fourth century against Pakistan in the last five innings. 

Labuschagne, at the other end, was more restrained but did not let go of any chance to score runs. He left the ball well, respected the good balls and collected boundaries at every chance he got. The Australia No.3 moved from 94 to 98 with a slam down the ground before registering his second successive century in Tests with a whip through midwicket. 

With both Warner and Labuschagne recording back-to-back tons, they became the first Australian pair since Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey in 2012 to score hundreds in successive Tests. 

Azhar Ali tried all the tricks in the book, even bringing himself on but to no avail. The duo soon brought up the 250-run stand, before finally ending the day undefeated on a stand of 294. This is now the highest-ever stand in day-night Tests. 

Australia have ended the day with a firm grip on the Test and it will take a mighty big effort from Pakistan firstly with the ball and then bat to make any sort of comeback.   

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AustraliaPakistan in AustraliaAustralia v Pakistan 2019Australia vs PakistanDavid Warner Marnus Labuschagne

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