Labuschagne and hometown hero Head hit tons as West Indies suffer in Adelaide

By Sports Desk December 08, 2022

Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head rattled off punishing centuries as Australia dominated once more against West Indies, racking up 330-3 on day one of the second Test.

Top of the ICC batting rankings, the in-form Labuschagne put on a show as he reached 120 not out, while local hero Head joined him on three figures later in the day, finishing up on 114no at stumps.

They shared in a fourth-wicket partnership worth 199 and will resume on Friday looking to bat West Indies out of the match.

For Labuschagne, a third consecutive century and 10th of his Test career was complete when he cracked a boundary square of the wicket.

He was the more watchful of the hundred-makers, with Head more up front about his intentions, getting stuck into a mostly blunt West Indies attack and reaching three figures in just 125 balls, some 61 fewer than Labuschagne needed to reach his ton.

For Head, getting the job done brought obvious relief, after he was dismissed for 99 in the first match of the series in Perth. He brought up this century with a drive through mid-off for four, removing his helmet and waving to the Adelaide Oval crowd. Born in the South Australia city, this is his home ground and the century earned him the warmest of ovations.

After making 204 and 104no in the first Test, Labuschagne again mastered the West Indies attack. He came in at number three and shared in a stand of 95 with Usman Khawaja, who fell lbw to Devon Thomas for 62 to leave Australia 129-2 during the afternoon.

That soon became 131-3 when stand-in captain Steve Smith went for a duck, caught and bowled by Jason Holder, but from that point on it was all one way in Australia's favour.

Better late than never for Thomas

At the ripe cricketing age of 33, Thomas is a Test wicket-taker for the first time. A wicketkeeper by trade, he is not wearing the gloves in this game, his Test debut. With West Indies seeking to break the second-wicket alliance, Thomas was given a try with the ball by West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and made the breakthrough.

Thomas made his international debut in the limited-overs formats all the way back in 2009, and lately he has been a familiar face in their T20I side, but this is his first opportunity in the five-day game. He was the seventh bowler used by West Indies on Thursday, finishing the day with 1-43 from nine overs.

Labuschagne does it again

Ten centuries in a batter's 30 Tests is great going by anyone's standards, so hats off to Labuschagne. Taking into account the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle back in July, Labuschagne has made tons in four of his last five innings and his average has shot up to 61.81. He is 33 runs short of reaching 3,000 Test runs, which will be a target for day two.

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