Ashes, Adelaide Test (D/N): Labuschagne, Warner power Australia to 221/2
Defiant knocks by Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner put Australia in the driving seat on Day 1 of the 2nd Ashes Test (Day/Night) in Adelaide. Labuschagne, who returned unbeaten alongside Steven Smith, powered the hosts past 200. The former shared a 172-run stand with David Warner, who fell five runs short of his ton. Notably, Smith is leading Australia in place of Pat Cummins.
Australia were off to a sluggish start after they elected to bat. The Aussies lost Marcus Harris (3) in the eighth over. Labuschagne then repaired the damage alongside Warner. The duo added 172 runs for the second wicket before Ben Stokes removed Warner. In the final session, Smith accompanied Labuschagne, who was dropped by Jos Buttler. Australia finished on 221/2 at stumps.
Australia are led by Smith, who replaced Cummins. The latter was ruled out of the ongoing Test after coming in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case at an Adelaide restaurant. Smith is leading Australia for the first time since the ball-tampering fiasco in Cape Town (2018). Three different players have led Australia in three consecutive men's Tests (first time in nearly 64 years).
England pacer Stuart Broad made his 150th appearance in Test cricket. He became just the third England cricketer to reach this landmark after James Anderson (167) and Alastair Cook (161). Broad took the crucial wicket of Marcus Harris early on Day 1. Notably, Broad missed the first Test in Brisbane as the visitors preferred Jack Leach over him.
Star opener Warner missed out on what could have been his 25th century in Test cricket. Warner was instrumental once again, setting up the platform for Australia after Harris' early dismissal. However, he departed on 95, playing a rash stroke off Ben Stokes. Warner became the 10th Australian batter to smash 7,500 Test runs. He now owns 7,500 Test runs at 48.70.
Top-order batter Labuschagne played an astonishing knock on Day 1. He became the fourth-fastest to 2,000 runs in Test cricket. The 27-year-old (34) is only behind Sir Donald Bradman (22), George Headley (32), Herbert Sutcliffe (33), and Michael Hussey (33) on this tally. Labuschagne returned unbeaten on 95 off 275 balls (7 fours). He is all set to slam his sixth Test ton.
Labuschagne and Warner registered their sixth century stand in Test cricket after Australia lost Harris initially. They now have 1,222 runs between them at an incredible average of 101.83. Their best came against Pakistan in November 2019 (361).