Marnus Labuschagne hits fine century as Australia take control against the West Indies on day one of first Test

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Marnus Labuschagne has reaffirmed his standing as one of Australia’s best and most important batters with a consummate century on the first day of the men’s Test summer against the West Indies.

Australia ended day one at Perth Stadium 2-292 thanks mostly to Marnus Labuschagne’s unbeaten 154, although he had plenty of help in century partnerships with Usman Khawaja (65) and Steve Smith (59 not out).

The scene at stumps was a far cry from the way the tourists started the day, nabbing the prize scalp of David Warner (5) in just the fourth over after Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat on a green-tinged pitch.

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That early breakthrough united Australia’s leading run-scorer for 2022, Khawaja, with his Queensland state teammate, Labuschagne, and they set about rebuilding the innings.

In front of mostly empty stands, with just 10,929 in attendance at the 60,000-capacity arena, that was hosting just its third Test match since opening in 2018, Australia’s bats soaked up some early pressure before running rampant in the final session.

The West Indies bowlers persevered throughout, but the use of all six in the opening session highlighted how effortlessly Australia’s second-wicket pair handled their attacks.

Alzarri Joseph (0-46) bought some heat and aggression with a bumper barrage of Labuschagne, who was beaten a handful of times outside of off, and had to take evasive action on other occasions.

Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne walk together in batting gear
Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne put on 142 for the second wicket from 288 balls.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)



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