David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne put on a new world-record partnership for day-night Tests as Australia ran the rule over Pakistan on the opening day of the Adelaide clash.
The duo added an unbeaten 294 runs for the second wicket with Australia ending a rain-curtailed day at 302-1 after electing to bat first. It was a chastening day in the field for Pakistan’s bowlers and fielders with debutant pacer Muhammad Musa facing the music on his Test initiation.
Musa’s tough debut and the Warner-Labuschagne show all feature in our talking points from Day One of the second and final Test in Adelaide.
Warner makes it back-to-back tons
David Warner couldn’t buy a run to save his life in the summer’s Ashes series in England and the Australia opener was at pains to insist that he will come good in the home stretch against Pakistan. True to his word, Warner has delivered and in some style at that!
Having notched up a 22nd ton in the series opener in Brisbane, Warner made it two 150 plus scores in two innings with another dominating knock at the picturesque Adelaide Oval.
It wasn’t the easiest of conditions to bat on at the start of the day, with the pink-ball moving a fair bit, but Warner was cautious when needed before going on the rampage against Pakistan debutant Muhammad Musa.
Once he found that initial spark, there was no stopping Warner throughout the day with the opener in complete control. He has now slammed 23 centuries in the Test format out of which 10 have remarkably come on the opening day of a match.
Labuschagne is the real deal
The Marnus Labuschagne story keeps getting better and better with the 25-year-old mirroring Warner in bringing up back-to-back Test tons. His fairytale like rise in international cricket since coming in as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the Ashes continues and the right-hander has now scored more than 50 runs in six of the nine Test innings to follow.
It is no wonder, then, that is Test average has crept up above 50 with Labuschagne showing why Cricket Australia were right to invest their faith in an unproven batsman. He was handed his Australia debut last year despite holding a modest first-class record with an average in the low 30s.
However, a County cricket stint at Glamorgan in the summer ahead of the Ashes has seemingly transformed Labuschagne who is now showing all signs of becoming Australia’s No3 for the best part of the coming decade.
His technique is compact and he didn’t give the Pakistan bowlers a sniff of an opportunity in Adelaide in a completely authoritative innings brimming with class. Now the leading run-scorer in the Test format in 2019 ahead of Smith.
Toothless Pakistan are all hype with no substance
Before the start of the series, there was plenty of hype surrounding Pakistan’s pace battery filled with as many as three teenagers. Six days of Test cricket later, all of that has evaporated with Warner and Labuschagne putting on a batting masterclass in both Brisbane and Adelaide.
While it was Naseem Shah who was handed his debut in the first Test, it was Musa’s turn to get initiated into international cricket in Adelaide. However, the 19-year-old was wayward and taken for nearly six runs an over for the most part of his spells on Day One.
Shaheen Afridi was the best of a bad bunch for Pakistan with the fellow 19-year-old claiming the sole Australia wicket to fall in the day. Afridi bowled well in patches and his delivery to get rid of Joe Burns was an excellent one. However, the same cannot be said of his other counterparts with the senior bowlers like Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah disappointing big time.
Abbas looked pedestrian on his comeback with his pace notably down, while Shah was taken to the cleaners by Warner and Labuschagne. Such were Pakistan’s bowling woes on Friday that skipper Azhar Ali had to resort to bringing himself one for some part-time spin.
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