Marnus Labuschagne’s century anchors Australia innings on day of first Test against West Indies

Marnus Labuschagne has given himself the opportunity to score a second double century as Australia took command on the opening day of the first Test against West Indies at Perth Stadium on Wednesday.

The hyperactive Labuschagne was unbeaten on 154, his eighth Test century, sending Australia to stumps at 293 for 2 with Steven Smith 59 not out and primed to charge down his second century in as many Tests.

Labuschagne combined with Usman Khawaja (65 in 149 balls) to add 142 for the second wicket in almost two sessions to wear down a disciplined West Indian attack.

Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss and set his batsmen the challenge of batting first,.

The approach of Labuschagne and Khawaja was different to an eager David Warner who fell for (5), off the bowling of Jayden Seales, while Usman Kawajah scored a well timed half century 65 off 149 balls coloured by 5 fours and a six, before he was sent packing caught by Joshua da silva off the bowling of Kyle Mayers.

From the late ’70s to the mid ’90s the West Indies were cricket’s action attraction with their brilliance and athleticism, going 15 years without losing a Test series until Australia claimed their unofficial crown during the pivotal encounter of 1995 at Sabina Park with an Australian team captained by Mark Taylor.

Unfortunately, just 10,929 fans watched it in the 60,000-seat stadium, the lowest day one crowd for a West Indies Test in Perth since 1997, when 10,091 turned up at the WACA Ground, which has a capacity of 20,000.

The West Indies have not beaten Australia in a Test since 2003.


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