Friday Nov 29, 2019 | By: AFP
David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne both plundered back-to-back centuries as Australia stamped their authority on the opening day of the day-night second Test against Pakistan in Adelaide on Friday.
At the close on a rain-interrupted day, the home team were a dominant 302 for one with the pair building an ominous 294-run partnership, leaving Pakistan with a huge battle to stay in touch.
Warner was not out 166 and Labuschagne unbeaten on 126, following on from their 154 and 185 respectively in the first Test at Brisbane. Their Adelaide partnership was the highest ever in a day-night Test.
“It's a bit surreal at the moment. It was just amazing to be out there with Davey and to just put on a really big partnerhsip,” said Labuschagne. “Really happy. We were running hard, I love the intensity of the crease.”
Warner paid tribute to the maturity of his partner, who is playing in only his 11th Test.
“Credit to Marnus for the way he came out and took the bowlers on again, he picked up where he left off at the Gabba,” he said.
“We're just thrilled to get through that tonight and want to come out tomorrow and put some more runs on the board.”
Pakistan need to win to square the two-match series. The odds were heavily stacked against them before the game began, having lost 13 consecutive Tests in Australia, and their chances are even slimmer now.
Over the years, taking wickets in Australia has been a challenge for Pakistan and they shuffled their bowling attack for the pink-ball Test in a bid to make the most of the conditions.
Veteran seamer Mohammad Abbas, who tormented Australia when he took 17 wickets in two Tests in the UAE last October, returned in place of Imran Khan while 16-year-old pace sensation Naseem Shah was rested.
That handed a debut to 19-year-old medium-fast right-armer Muhammad Musa, but, like in the first Test at Brisbane, none of them could tame Warner and Labuschagne, with the ball hardly doing anything under the lights to trouble them.
After Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat, Pakistan had a flicker of hope when Joe Burns was out for four, but a stubborn Warner and Labuschagne dug in and they went to tea at 70 for one.
Australia: Joe Burns, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali (capt), Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Musa, Mohammad Abbas