After dominating New Zealand on the first day of the Sydney Test, Australia couldn’t quite turn the screws on the second day. But Tim Paine and Co are still pretty much in the ascendancy with the Black Caps trailing by 391 runs. For the Kiwis, they didn’t allow their opponent to run away with the game. In order to clinch the ascendancy, the visitors have a tough road ahead though.
Marnus Labuschagne (215) and Matthew Wade (22) started proceedings, but the latter perished in the very first over. William Somerville rattled his woodwork to break the ominous-looking stand. Travis Head tried to buckle down and eventually fell prey to Matt Henry. At the other end, Labuschagne carried on his own merry way and was unbeaten on 181 at the end of the first session.
Skipper Paine then joined hands with Labuschagne and put on a partnership of 79 runs. The duo helped the Aussies recover from the early jitters. Labuschagne scored his maiden Test double off 346 balls and it was Todd Astle, who finally removed the big fish. Thereafter, the hosts lost James Pattinson and Pat Cummins in pretty quick succession. But Mitchell Starc came out all guns blazing.
Openers see New Zealand through
The southpaw scored 22 off 21 and propelled Australia to a formidable 454 in 150.1 overs. For New Zealand, Colin de Grandhomme and Neil Wagner were the most successful, picking up three wickets each. With a massive score ahead of them, the Black Caps’ openers Tom Blundell (34*) and Tom Latham (26*) were in for a stern task. However, the pair didn’t succumb to the immense pressure.
They played out 29 overs, scoring 63 runs. Albeit the runs didn’t flow off their bat, they made sure that Australia had to work hard in in the third session. The home team used as many as five bowlers, including the spin options, Nathan Lyon and Labuschagne, but to no avail. On the third day, Latham and Blundell will be looking to convert their starts and take the Black Caps closer to Australia’s tally.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the day’s play: –
Just heard that only 4 batters in history had scored more runs than Labuschagne after first 22 innings…! A live lesson on how to grab chances from both hands.#AusvNZ pic.twitter.com/FqyYB47vVS
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) January 4, 2020
Always great to welcome a new member to the test double hundred club. Well batted Marnus.👍🏽#AUSvNZ
— Jason Gillespie 🌱 (@dizzy259) January 4, 2020
Well played Marnus!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻#215 #austvnz @scg #honoursboard
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) January 4, 2020
#MarnusLabuschagne is the next big Test Player o our times..he’s got everything going fr him..technique,temperament & will to occupy crease endlessly..he’ll keep Test Crkt alive over 5 days..InshaAllah.!!He typifies ‘handsome is that handsome does’..!!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) January 4, 2020
Happy scenes at the SCG!pic.twitter.com/uyu8LrK4P1#AUSvNZ
— ICC (@ICC) January 4, 2020
✅ Going past Steve Smith's Test batting average
✅ Scoring his first Test double hundred
✅ Closing in on 500 runs in this series
Marnus Labuschagne is having the time of his life!#AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/EgzUcdhDQr
— ICC (@ICC) January 4, 2020
You don’t get many opportunities to make a 300 in Test cricket… Labuschagne has that opportunity today! @scg #austvnz
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) January 3, 2020
A very proud Mum and Dad of Marnus Labuschagne 😊@emmavosti | #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/Zab9YCNT4Z
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 4, 2020
185 in Gabba
162 in Adelaide
143 in Perth
203* in Sydney
All in one Summer. Labuschagne making his mark in the world cricket. #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/VbbDnciqkR
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 4, 2020
Latham clocked Wade in the helmet – but he's okay.#AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/iuqNzJRx3N
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 4, 2020
Seriously impressive fight from the @BLACKCAPS today.
Backs against the wall in a brutal tour so far, starting the day staring down a massive first innings, bowl them out then get through the session without loss.
Keeping in mind the injuries and illness too. Superb. #AUSvNZ
— Guy Heveldt (@GuyHeveldt) January 4, 2020
Marnus Labuschagne ended 2019 with a bang and started 2020 on the same note. #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/Qbrr7VbYdS
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) January 4, 2020
Marnus Labuschagne’s Test batting average has just gone past Steve Smith’s #AUSvNZ
— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) January 3, 2020
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