Labuschagne and Smith reach double centuries as Australia leave West Indies a mountain to climb

By Sports Desk December 01, 2022

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith made double centuries as Australia piled on the runs against West Indies at Perth Stadium, achieving a feat last witnessed over a decade ago.

Not since Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke plundered double tons against India in January 2012 had any pair of batters made 200-plus scores in the same innings of a Test match.

This first Test saw Australia follow up their opening-day dominance with more commanding batting to reach 598-4 on Thursday, before West Indies rallied to reach 74-0 at stumps, with debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul closing in on a half-century.

Labuschagne had been 154no overnight, and Smith was with him on 59, and they went on to post 204 and 200no respectively, sharing in a third-wicket stand of 251 runs. It was a second Test double century for Labuschagne, and a fourth for Smith.

Australia declared when Travis Head was dismissed on 99, edging the 95th ball of his innings into his stumps to give West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite a second wicket, ending a 196-run alliance with Smith.

In reply, Chanderpaul, son of West Indies great Shivnarine Chanderpaul, powered to 47no as Brathwaite battled to 18no, offering hope the tourists may be able to show sufficient defiance to still take something from this match, the first of two in the series.

Smith joins Bradman

Smith's century, which became a double, was his 29th ton in Tests, moving him level with the great Don Bradman on the all-time list. He and Bradman share fourth place among Australia century-makers, behind Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32) and Matthew Hayden (30).

Chanderpaul a chip off the old block

Facing the full assault of Australia's pace attack, Chanderpaul did not always look comfortable against Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, but he found a way to survive to the close.

Dad Shivnarine made 11,867 Test runs for West Indies, so Tagenarine is just 11,820 behind now. More relevantly, perhaps, Shivnarine made 62 in his first Test innings, against England in Georgetown in 1994. After this strong start, West Indies will hope his son can go significantly past that score on Friday.

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