David Warner has won the Allan Border Medal for the third time after edging out team-mate Steve Smith by the narrowest of margins.

Australia opener Warner polled 194 votes, one more than Smith, while last year's winner Pat Cummins was also close behind with 185.

Marnus Labuschagne won the award for Men's Test Player of the Year, with Smith again coming a close second, while Aaron Finch claimed the ODI honour for the first time and Warner made it a double by landing the T20I gong.

Warner previously won the Allan Border Medal in 2016 and 2017, with four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke the only players to have won the accolade, considered the most prestigious individual prize in Australian men's cricket, on more occasions.

The 33-year-old impressed across all formats during last season, scoring three centuries at the Cricket World Cup at an average of 71.88.

Warner struggled as Australia retained the Ashes in England but rebounded with superb home Test performances against Pakistan, versus whom he scored 335 not out in Adelaide, and then New Zealand.

The batsman's T20 form was spectacular, as he averaged 147.61 in three clashes with Sri Lanka and 140 in another trio of matches against Pakistan, helping him to see off 2019 winner Glenn Maxwell in the voting for the T20 honour in addition to the Allan Border Medal.

Warner and Smith both impressed as they returned from one-year suspensions in 2019 after their involvement in the ball-tampering affair the previous year.

The Australian Cricket Awards are voted for by players, the media and umpires after each Australia game.

Fast bowler Wes Agar was named The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, while in the women's game The Belinda Clark Award went to Ellyse Perry, who like Warner is a three-time winner of the top prize available.

India great Sachin Tendulkar paid "special" Marnus Labuschagne the ultimate compliment by likening the in-form Australia batsman to himself.

Labuschagne has surged up the ICC men's Test batting rankings since making his debut in October 2018, sitting third behind Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.

Tendulkar, one of the most complete batsmen in history, scored a record 15,921 runs and 51 centuries in Tests, while also topping the charts in both factors in ODIs.

The India great was impressed by Labuschagne's display in the second Ashes Test in August, when he helped the tourists earn a draw.

Asked if there any are upcoming players that remind him of himself, Tendulkar said: "There are a number of players, but I happened to be watching the second Test at Lord's between England and Australia and when Steve Smith got injured in the first innings I saw Labuschagne's second innings.

"I saw Marnus getting hit [on the helmet by] the second ball he faced from Jofra Archer and post that, the 15 minutes he batted I said, 'This player looks special, there is something about him.'

"His footwork was precise and footwork is not physical, it's mental. If you're not thinking positively in your mind then your feet don't move. So that clearly indicated to me that this guy is mentally strong. His footwork was incredible."

James Vince and Josh Philippe made half-centuries as Sydney Sixers thrashed Brisbane Heat by eight wickets in Steve Smith's Big Bash League return.

All eyes were on Sixers batsman Smith in his first BBL appearance for six years, while Heat batsman Marnus Labuschagne played his first match of the 2019-20 tournament after returning from Australia's ODI series in India.

Labuschagne made only three as the Heat were restricted to 126-8, with runs hard to come by on a slow Gabba surface on Thursday.

Steve O'Keefe was named man of the match after taking 1-20 from his four overs, while Jackson Bird, Tom Curran and Ben Dwarshuis took two wickets apiece.

The Sixers eased to their target with 25 balls to spare, Vince making a stylish 51 off 37 balls and fellow opener Philippe an unbeaten 52 from 43.

Smith fell for only nine, but the Sixers were all-but home by then as they moved above Adelaide Strikers into second spot in the battle to face Melbourne Stars in the first Qualifier at the MCG.

The Heat have now lost three in a row and are just outside the play-off spots with two games to play.

 

STRUGGLING HEAT BATSMEN FAIL TO FIRE

O'Keefe stuck a big blow by removing Chris Lynn's off stump in the third over and the Heat were 33-2 in the fifth when Matt Renshaw was removed by Bird, having struck Nathan Lyon for six and four in the previous over.

Lyon had Sam Heazlett caught and bowled before Labuschagne was taken by Smith attempting to pull Curran, with the Heat slumping to 57-5 halfway through their innings.

James Pattinson made a brisk 27 not out from 15 balls after AB de Villiers (25) was caught by Smith in the deep, but the Sixers bowlers did a great job of restricting the Heat to a below-par total.

 

VINCE PROMOTION PAYS OFF

England batsman Vince was promoted to open with Philippe, Daniel Hughes dropping down the order.

He made the most of his opportunity at the top of the order, full of confidence after making an unbeaten 41 in a victory over the Melbourne Stars last time out.

Vince showed his class with glorious strokes on both sides of the wicket, coming down the track to launch Mujeeb Ur Rahman into the stands and reaching his half-century off 34 balls with a classy drive over cover before pulling Ben Laughlin to Heazlett.

 

PHILIPPE RETURNS TO FORM, SMITH MISSES OUT

Wicketkeeper batsman Philippe had mustered only 32 in his previous five knocks, but returned to form in batting conditions that were not straightforward.

Vince comfortably outscored Philippe in a stand of 75, but the 22-year-old clattered Laughlin for 10 off two balls as the Sixers closed in on an emphatic victory.

Pattinson followed Smith and had his Australia team-mate caught behind when he moved outside leg stump attempting an expansive drive, but Philippe brought up his half-century before Moises Henriques put the Heat out of their misery.

Marnus Labuschagne might get through a lot of chewing gum, but he sees no reason to change his batting ritual after playing a starring role in Australia's 3-0 series whitewash of New Zealand.

Australia completed their series sweep thanks to a David Warner century and another five-for from Nathan Lyon, as they sealed a resounding 279-run win in the third Test in Sydney.

Warner's unbeaten 111 led Australia to 217-2, Tim Paine declaring with a 415-run lead, and a comprehensive win was secured as the Black Caps were skittled for 136.

Labuschagne, who scored 215 runs in the first innings and hit 59 in the second, finished with 549 runs for the three-match series.

"It's been an amazing summer," he said at the post-match presentation where he was given the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

"It's so special to share these moments with your family, who have been part of your journey. It's hard to put [the success] on one thing, but my level of concentration and not doing any silly things.

"A lot of gum but it's working, so why change. I just love the journey and it's been wonderful being part of this Australian team."

Labuschagne, along with Steve Smith and Warner, won praise from Paine, who says he is honoured to captain an Australia side ranked second in the ICC World Test Championship, while adding he hopes success on the pitch provides the nation with some enjoyment amid the ongoing bushfire crisis.

"I am very lucky to captain this group," the captain said. "Batting has become very consistent with Marnus leading this year and Steve and David back.

"It's a pretty simple task for me at times, to be honest. I think we can still get better, there were moments in this series as well when we were not at our best.

"We are really pleased with the progress we have made in the last 12 months but we know have some big series coming up.

"It hasn't been a great few weeks for our country. Our goal as a team is to give the Australians some entertainment. But our thoughts go out to them and firefighters are doing a great job."

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, meanwhile, acknowledged, his side must learn from their humbling defeat.

"Credit to the Australian team," Williamson said. "They were clinical but they put us under pressure session after session. There's so much to learn from this experience.

"We have a bit of time off, so a bit of regrouping. We were outplayed in all departments. There are number of things to work on and improve upon.

"For a number of guys, it's the first time here and you must appreciate it because you won't get this experience anywhere else."

Marnus Labuschagne said it was "very special" to take a record belonging to Australia great Neil Harvey while making his first Test double century.

Labuschagne's 215 helped Australia reach 454 against New Zealand on the second day in Sydney, and it made him the highest-scoring Australia batsman in a five-match home Test campaign.

Harvey totted up 834 runs against South Africa in 1952-53, with Labuschagne going to 837 after his efforts in the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

The feat earned Labuschagne praise from Harvey himself, with the 91-year-old telling the Sydney Morning Herald: "What he's done has been very good. He's got discipline and concentration. It looks as though he's going to be around for quite some time. He might pinch some of [Steve] Smith's mantle."

And 25-year-old Labuschagne, who made his Test debut just 15 months ago, was full of pride at his achievement.

"Obviously that's very special, going past a player of that calibre," Labuschagne said.

"It's hard because, when you're midway through a game or series, you don't really have time to stop and reflect on the summer that you've had.

"Looking at it, it's been a very special summer but I think the real privilege is playing in this team, with the camaraderie."

He began the day on 130 not out and was eventually caught and bowled by spinner Todd Astle.

Labuschagne survived the nervous 190s, tottering on 199 for a while before a hefty edge off Colin de Grandhomme for four brought up the double hundred.

He said: "You do get nervous. You probably don't get as nervous as you would if you were on 99. I don't know why, but that's just the feeling. Probably when you're in the 190s, it's about not doing something silly."

New Zealand plugged away to reach 63-0 by stumps and are crying out for a contribution similar to that of Labuschagne.

Australia's double centurion could yet set another record in this match.

England batsman Wally Hammond holds the record for the most runs in a five-Test Australian home summer, with 905 in 1928-29 - a target for Labuschagne should he get the chance to bat again at the SCG.

Marnus Labuschagne's maiden double hundred led Australia to a strong first-innings position before New Zealand mounted a spirited response late on day two of the third Test.

Labuschagne added 85 runs to his overnight score at the SCG and looked at ease until he spooned a catch back to Todd Astle on 215, his highest first-class score.

Tim Paine contributed 35 in a 79-run stand with the world's fourth-ranked Test batsman but the captain's exit led to the loss of five wickets for 44 runs as Australia were dismissed for 454.

New Zealand turned the momentum into a promising batting response, with openers Tom Latham (26) and Tom Blundell (34) unbeaten at the close of play on Saturday.

There was early encouragement for the Black Caps thanks to Matthew Wade's ill-advised sweep, the batsman missing a full delivery from Will Somerville (1-99) in the first over of the day.

Matt Henry, continuing to bowl despite fracturing his left thumb on Friday, removed Travis Head for 10 but dislodging Labuschagne and Paine proved more difficult.

The former passed 150 for the third time in five Tests and patiently navigated his way through a long period spent in the 190s.

Colin de Grandhomme (3-78) squeezed an off-cutter between Paine's bat and pad to reduce Australia to 410-6 before Astle (2-111) and Neil Wagner (3-66) cleaned up the last four wickets.

There were signs of spin during the second session, but Blundell and stand-in New Zealand captain Latham displayed commendable concentration after tea.

The openers saw off a threatening spell from Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon's probing off-spin to reach 63-0 after 29 overs.

Blundell did receive a life when Australia's review for caught behind off Cummins went unrewarded, despite a faint mark appearing on the Hot Spot.

The hosts continue to lead by 391 runs and will look to make inroads into New Zealand's top order on day three as they aim to move closer towards a clean sweep of the three-Test series.

Marnus Labuschagne insists he should not be compared to Steve Smith after the Australia batsman continued his phenomenal run of form with another century against New Zealand.

Labuschagne finished day one at the SCG unbeaten on 130 as the hosts, who already have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, reached 283-3.

It was Labuschagne's fourth ton of the Australian summer, having reached three figures in back-to-back Tests versus Pakistan, and prolonged an extended purple patch.

After entering the Ashes as Test cricket's first concussion substitute when Jofra Archer struck Smith at Lord's, the 25-year-old scored four consecutive fifties to cement his place in the Australia side.

"I haven't had time to sit down and think about how the whole year has unfolded, it's been pretty special," he said, before referencing the stuttering start that followed his Test debut against Pakistan in October 2018.

"This time last year I was sitting here and there was a lot of questions. I'm thankful for the opportunity and scoring runs is always nice. I never take it for granted though, because it can turn very quickly.

"I'm definitely not comfortable. You grow in confidence facing the same opposition – you get used to bowler, you get used to their actions."

Smith, who played a supporting hand with 63, finds himself in the unusual position of not being his side's heaviest runs scorer, although Labuschagne believes he has a long way to go before he reaches the same levels as the former captain.

"I wouldn't be drawing any comparisons to Steve yet," he said. "He's played 73 Tests and averages 63. He's been doing it for a long time and his consistency is amazing.

"Today he showed it again. We do spend a bit of time together and I do enjoy batting with him – watching him go about it and how he figures out different plans.

"It is nice. Once we're both in we talk about different things out there. Nothing changes, I still love batting with him."

Indeed, Labuschagne enjoys batting with Smith so much that he was largely unaware of his team-mate taking 39 deliveries to get off the mark – the latter's duel with left-arm paceman Neil Wagner continuing in absorbing fashion.

"I actually had no idea he was on zero until the 38th ball. I actually thought we were rotating the strike quite well, which is quite funny," Labuschagne chuckled.

"I wondered what all the carry on was and he was like, 'I'm on zero'."

The final Test of Australia's home season is taking place against the backdrop of bushfires ravaging the country and Labuschagne paid tribute to the firefighters trying to tackle the situation

"If all we did today was create a distraction of a bit of enjoyment for people in these tough times then that's a win for us," he added.

"But the focus should be on the firies [firefighters] and what they're doing for the community. That's the most important thing at this moment in time."

Marnus Labuschagne extended his fine run of form as Australia's dominance of New Zealand continued in Sydney on Friday.

Labuschagne scored his fourth century in his past seven innings as Australia controlled the opening day of the third Test at the SCG.

The right-hander made an unbeaten 130, striking 12 fours and a six as the hosts – who are looking for a series sweep – reached 283-3 at stumps after deciding to bat first.

Steve Smith (63) and David Warner (45) made decent contributions, while Colin de Grandhomme (2-63) managed two breakthroughs on a difficult day for New Zealand.

The tough day started before a ball was bowled as the Black Caps made five changes, with Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner out through illness and Tim Southee not picked.

Losing the toss only added to their woes, but De Grandhomme did manage to land an early blow.

Joe Burns (18) edged a delivery that moved away slightly and Ross Taylor took a simple catch at first slip.

But it was an otherwise comfortable opening session for Warner and Labuschagne as Australia got to lunch at 95-1.

Needing another wicket, New Zealand found it shortly after the break, Warner pulling Neil Wagner (1-48) to De Grandhomme at leg gully.

The Black Caps managed to slow Australia's scoring, with Smith needing 39 balls to get off the mark.

Labuschagne brought up his fourth Test century during the final session with a four down leg off De Grandhomme before New Zealand wasted a review for lbw against him off Will Somerville (0-52).

De Grandhomme managed to get Smith with the second new ball – the star batsman edging to Taylor – before Matthew Wade (22) and Labuschagne got to stumps with Australia in a commanding position.

Steve Smith produced a gritty performance to hand Australia the edge over New Zealand on an absorbing first day of the Boxing Day Test.

Asked to bat first on a heavily scrutinised wicket, Australia reached 257-4 on day one thanks to Smith and his unbeaten 77 at the MCG in Melbourne, where 80,473 fans were in attendance.

Just like Marnus Labuschagne's 63, it was an innings of patience from Smith, who defied New Zealand's bowlers to close in on another Test century on Thursday as Australia look to wrap up the three-Test series.

Travis Head also made it to stumps unbeaten on 25 against a New Zealand team making their first Boxing Day appearance at the MCG since 1987.

All eyes were on the MCG after a Sheffield Shield match was abandoned earlier this month due to a dangerous surface, but on the evidence of the first morning, curators rectified the issue.

After New Zealand captain Kane Williamson opted to bowl first on a wicket with thick grass coverage and overcast morning conditions, it only took spearhead Trent Boult (1-60) – back from injury – four deliveries to skittle opener Joe Burns for a duck in the first over.

Boult and Tim Southee (0-63) looked threatening with the new ball but David Warner and Labuschagne nullified the danger, preserving wickets over big scoring, until 15 minutes prior to lunch.

Black Caps paceman Neil Wagner (1-40) claimed the prized scalp of Warner for 41 – the star opener pushing out a full delivery and sending a thick edge to the diving Southee to leave Australia 61-2.

Labuschagne – who arrived in the first over – played a patient innings, cementing himself at the crease alongside former Australia captain Smith.

Spared a life following a mix-up in running with Smith as Williamson missed the stumps, Labuschagne brought up his fifth successive 50-plus score with an edge off Boult.

Labuschagne enjoyed success against Mitchell Santner (0-34), pulling a short ball for six before Smith lofted a delivery straight into the sightscreen as the Australia pair clubbed the New Zealand spinner for 17 runs in an over.

But just as Labuschagne was looking comfortable, the in-form batsman deflected a Colin de Grandhomme (2-48) delivery off his elbow and onto the stumps in the middle session before tea.

That brought Matthew Wade (38) to the crease and he renewed his battle with Wagner – the Australian managing to make it through a torrid period before the last interval.

As Smith entered Australia's top 10 of all-time leading run scorers in Test cricket thanks to his 28th Test fifty, De Grandhomme's delivery nipping away from Wade, who edged to BJ Watling.

Marnus Labuschagne has made a spectacular start to his international career and he can join several Australia greats during the Boxing Day Test.

Labuschagne, 25, has cemented his spot at number three in Australia's batting order heading into the second Test against New Zealand in Melbourne.

The right-hander only made his Test debut in October last year, but he has taken his chance.

Labuschagne has scored 1,103 runs at 58.05, including three centuries, which have come in his past three Tests.

History awaits if he can make it a century in four consecutive Tests in Melbourne.

Only five Australians have managed that feat in Test history and Labuschagne can add his name to the list.

Don Bradman managed it three times – including in a record six straight Tests against England in 1937-38.

Jack Fingleton (1936), Neil Harvey (1949-50), Matthew Hayden (2001-02 and 2005) and Steve Smith (2014-15) are the other Australians to have scored centuries in four straight Tests.

New Zealand struggled to find an answer to Labuschagne in Perth, where he made scores of 143 and 50 in a comprehensive victory for Australia.

Labuschagne only made his first Test century last month and there has been no looking back.

Now, less than 15 months after his Test debut, he has the chance to join a group of Australia's best on a huge stage at the MCG.

In-form Australia star Marnus Labuschagne is in line to make his ODI debut as part of seven changes for next month's tour of India.

An established Test member, uncapped ODI batsman Labuschagne is part of a 14-man squad set to face India in a three-match series, starting January 14.

Led by assistant coach Andrew McDonald as Justin Langer rests, the Australia team also includes Josh Hazlewood, despite the paceman sitting out the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury.

However, there is no room for seven players that featured in the Cricket World Cup semi-final loss to England – Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Lyon, while Jason Behrendorff is injured.

"As one of the leadership group it's important to show that not only are we focused on getting the balance right for the players but equally the coaches and staff, head coach included," Langer said.

"'Macca' is an exceptional coach in all forms of the game and has been fantastic since coming on board. He will do a great job with this squad. We are in very, very good hands."

National selector Trevor Hohns added: "The performance of our white ball squads has been strong, and we are hoping to build the momentum towards the T20 World Cup at home at the end of the year and ultimately build towards the 2023 ICC World Cup in India.
 
"The performance of the top order at home through the T20 Series was very strong so we look for that to continue in the Indian ODI series. We also believe Marnus Labuschagne is ready for his international white ball debut after his strong form for Queensland in this form of the game."

Australia will face India in Mumbai before matches in Rajkot (January 17) and Bengaluru (January 19).

 

Australia squad for India tour: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia are in command of the first Test against New Zealand, despite collapsing in the final session on day three at Perth Stadium, after Marnus Labuschagne's purple patch with the bat continued.

Eleven wickets fell at Perth Stadium on Saturday, the excellent Mitchell Starc (5-52) claiming his 13th five-wicket Test haul as the tourists were dismissed for 166 in the first session - Ross Taylor making 80.

Australia were cruising with Labuschagne (50) and Joe Burns (53) at the crease, but slumped from 131-1 to 167-6 by the close, Tim Southee taking 4-63 and Neil Wagner 2-40.

Tim Paine's side, without Josh Hazlewood for the rest of the match due to a hamstring injury, remain in complete control despite that late flurry of wickets, leading by a mammoth 417 runs. 

The Black Caps had resumed in deep trouble on 109-5 and they were soon six down when BJ Watling chopped on to a sharp delivery from Pat Cummins.

Taylor added only 14 runs to his overnight total before edging Nathan Lyon to Steve Smith at first slip - and Colin de Grandhomme was caught by the former Australia skipper on 23 when he contentiously became Starc's fifth victim.

Third umpire Marais Erasmus upheld Aleem Dar's on-field decision to give De Grandhomme out despite it not being clear if the ball had struck the all-rounder on the glove.

Labuschagne got in on the act by bowling Mitchell Santner through the gate with a classic leg break and Lyon ended the innings just before lunch by getting rid of Southee.

David Warner passed 7,000 Test runs – taking him above the great Don Bradman on the all-time list in the process - before falling for 19, the left-hander picking out substitute fielder Tom Blundell with an attempted pull when a short ball from Southee got big on him.

Burns was dropped by De Grandhomme on 24 and played with more fluency after a watchful start to his knock, with the in-form Labuschagne - who scored a third consecutive Test century in the first innings - in great touch at the other end. 

They pressed on after taking tea at 75-1, reaching half-centuries in quick succession, while umpire Dar - standing in a record 129th Test - needed treatment on his knee after a collision with Santner.

Labuschagne was looking ominous until he pulled Wagner straight to Santner at midwicket, while Burns followed after fending a short ball from Southee to Henry Nicholls in the gully.

Smith fell to Wagner for only 14 before a fired-up Southee removed Travis Head and Tim Paine - who failed to score – though Australia are still firmly on top despite the dramatic finish to proceedings.

Mitchell Starc put Australia in command in the absence of Josh Hazlewood while Steve Smith took a sensational catch to leave New Zealand in big trouble on day two of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne fell for 143 after making his third consecutive Test century on the opening day at Perth Stadium, and Travis Head struck 56 in Australia's 416 all out.

Neil Wagner (4-92) and Tim Southee (4-93) stepped up again with Black Caps debutant Lockie Ferguson unable bowl due to a calf injury sustained on Thursday.

New Zealand lost both openers inside two overs of their reply, but their trans-Tasman rivals suffered a big blow when Hazlewood ambled off with a suspected hamstring injury after dismissing Jeet Raval. 

Starc came to the fore late in the day-night contest on Friday, Smith diving to remove Williamson (34) in spectacular fashion as the left-arm paceman took 4-31 to reduce the tourists to 109-5 at stumps.

Ross Taylor will resume on Saturday unbeaten on 66 with New Zealand trailing by 307 and BJ Watling yet to get off the mark.

Labuschagne put away a couple of glorious drives after Australia resumed on 248-4, but Wagner ended his fifth-wicket stand of 76 with Travis Head by bowling the in-form number three around his legs.

Head looked in great touch in a positive knock, finding the boundary frequently before driving Southee to Mitchell Santner in the covers.

The Black Caps bowled with discipline after lunch, and Raval, used more than he would have anticipated in the absence of Ferguson, dismissed Pat Cummins for 20.

Starc added a brisk 30, smashing Santner for six over long-on, and captain Tim Paine a patient 39 before both were dismissed by Southee, with Australia all out on the stroke of tea.

New Zealand got off to a nightmare start to their reply under the lights, Tom Latham caught and bowled by Starc without scoring in the first over and Hazlewood cleaning up Raval with only his fourth ball.

Taylor joined Williamson at the crease with the tourists in the mire on 1-2, and they would have been relieved to see Hazlewood walk off after pulling up in his second over.

The current and former captain had to contend with some hostile short stuff from Cummins and Starc, but they weathered the storm under pressure and Taylor struck Nathan Lyon for three boundaries in an over.

There was no review from Australia when Williamson appeared to feather Cummins behind, but Smith took off to his right to grab a stunning one-handed catch to remove the prolific skipper - ending a stand of 76.

Although Taylor brought up a hard-earned half-century, Starc strangled Henry Nicholls caught behind down the leg side and generated late swing to bowl nightwatchman Wagner first ball in a great spell to leave New Zealand on the ropes.

Marnus Labuschagne says "riding the wave" has been the key to his success after the Australia batsman scored a third consecutive Test century on day one of the series against New Zealand.

Labuschagne's purple patch continued on a slow-scoring deck in Perth, the number three reaching stumps on 110 not out with Australia 248-4 in the day-night encounter.

Don Bradman and Charles Macartney are the only other Australians to have scored three successive hundreds in the longest format.

Labuschagne also became the fourth-fastest Australian to score 1,000 Test runs and the number three says staying in the moment has enabled him to spend so much time in the middle.

"No hundred is easy, but today there was definitely patches where scoring really dried up completely and you just had to be patient and trust you were going to come out the other side," said the 25-year-old.

"It's about riding the wave, not trying to get too high when you are going well, keep everything consistent, keep it process-driven in terms of your mind.

"It's great to get runs, but just making sure you are doing your routines, keeping that clear mind on the field and from there you're just playing the ball as it comes. It's making sure you put a real high price on decision making."

Test debutant Lockie Ferguson went for a scan after suffering a calf injury on a searing hot day and Labuschagne says Australia must try and make the tourists' bowlers suffer in the field if they are a bowler short.

"I think one of the boys said when we came back in that he [Ferguson] pulled up with an injury, but me and [Steve] Smith didn't even know," the centurion said.

"It's a massive advantage they do have an all-rounder [Colin de Grandhomme] in their side, so that probably does lighten the load but it's a massive advantage if we can really bat well tomorrow and keep them out there.

"Batters, we've just got to keep putting runs on the board and with our world-class bowling attack, it gives them the upper hand."

Marnus Labuschagne continued his stunning form with a third straight Test century as Australia made a strong start against New Zealand in Perth.

After winning the toss, Australia ended Thursday on 248-4 in the day-night contest, which is the first of three Test matches between the teams.

When he was on 95, Labuschagne, who had gone past 1,000 runs in only his 12th Test earlier in the innings, smashed a six off Mitchell Santner over long on.

He calmly saw out the day from there, finishing on 110 not out from 202 deliveries with 14 boundaries and that one maximum, and will return on day two alongside Travis Head (20no).

Labuschagne's exploits came after he recorded scores of 185 and 162 against Pakistan last month.

Neil Wagner (2-52) provided the main resistance for New Zealand, who lost Test debutant Lockie Ferguson to a calf injury and will hope the problem is not serious after being a bowler light for the final 22 overs.

Opener Joe Burns rued his decision not to appeal after being given out lbw to Colin de Grandhomme for just nine in the 13th over, replays showing the delivery would have missed leg stump.

David Warner could not replicate his epic partnership with Labuschagne from the Pakistan series as he fell for 43, sending a low full toss back to bowler Wagner, who dived forward to take a key scalp.

It meant Warner remains tantalisingly short of Don Bradman's Test haul of 6,966 runs, now six adrift.

But Labuschagne did find a partner in Steve Smith, the pair putting on 132 for the third wicket.

That crucial partnership should have been thwarted only for Smith to be dropped by Tom Latham at second slip off the bowling of Ferguson while on 19, Ross Taylor unable to gather the rebound.

Smith eventually fell for 43, though he had occupied the crease for 164 balls by the time Wagner had him caught by Southee.

New Zealand took the new ball as soon as it became available and Southee claimed his first wicket when he bowled Matthew Wade for 12, a superb in-swinging delivery doing the job.

Head survived an lbw appeal and a dangerous moment where he inside-edged past his own leg stump, but he gained in confidence from there and ended the day with four boundaries.

Labuschagne was the constant presence at the other end and he will have his sights set on a huge score as Australia's patience approach gave them the edge after an intriguing first day.

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