Cricket 2019: Australia v Pakistan second Test


Warner was first to the milestone but Labushagne was not going to be denied and raced to his century in the last hour of play, lifting spinner Yasir Shah down the ground for four and then clipping him through midwicket for two to raise his bat.

Marnus Labuschagne of Australia celebrates his century.Credit:Getty Images

Labuschagne’s stunning emergence as a genuine Test star in the past four months shows no signs of slowing down, producing yet another innings of style and substance.

He has bolted onto the scene and things have also changed quickly for Warner.

The former vice-captain is once again a top-order rock for Australia after his Ashes nightmare, having plundered runs in the Twenty20 campaign against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and carried on in the Test series.

Adelaide has historically been a happy hunting ground for him, although before now only when the ball was red or white. He arrived here with three Test hundreds to his name at the venue including the two in one match against India in 2014.

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But in the six Test innings he had played at the ground he had not reached 50. Those three matches were all day-night contests, while he also wasn’t prolific in his only other Test innings against the pink ball, taking on Pakistan at the Gabba in 2016.

All up, it amounted to 197 runs at an average of 24.6 in eight innings, although there are additional variables to take into account when assessing a batsman’s record in day-night cricket.

The suspense about a first pink ball ton built, as the patient Warner endured a full over from Mohammad Abbas on 99 after dinner. But he didn’t have to wait much longer, sealing his 17th Test century in Australia when he pushed Yasir backward of point and dashed through for a quick single.

He dropped his bat as he made his ground, completing his customary leaping celebration clutching his helmet instead. It was the sixth time in his Test career he has produced hundreds in consecutive innings.

Australia's winning combination Marnus Labuschagne, left, and David Warner.

Australia’s winning combination Marnus Labuschagne, left, and David Warner.Credit:Getty Images

Pakistan were helpless as Warner and Labuschagne began cautiously and then had to take few gambles, such was the degree of second-rate bowling they could put away. They piled on the pain with urgent running between the wickets and diligent turnover of the strike.

The tourists were rudderless in the field. Shaheen Afridi was the one of their three seamers to pose any danger and it was the left-armer with the Hollywood hairstyle who removed Joe Burns for four with the new ball, the opener prodding at a probing delivery that shaped away from the bat and clipped the edge, his exit sealed with a tidy low catch from wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

The controversial omission of Abbas in the first Test was explained by an unthreatening display of medium pace upon his recall while the latest teenage debutant, Musa Khan, was fast and tried hard but sprayed the ball around and was picked off at will.

There were eyebrows raised when captain Azhar Ali opened up after dinner with part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed and the fields became more defensive as the night went on.

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Their dismal showing got even worse with embarrassing fielding in the deep, a horrendous review and a botched run out of Labuschagne to top it all off.

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