SL vs AUS, 2nd Test: Labuschagne, Smith hundreds floor hosts
Australia rode on centuries from Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to dictate Day 1 proceedings of the second Test in Galle. Labuschagne hammered a positive 104 runs before Smith ended his century drought by smashing a 28th ton ahead of stumps. The two also shared a century-plus stand for the third wicket as Australia managed 298/5.
Labuschagne hammered a neat 104 runs, having faced 156 balls. He smashed a total of 12 fours. He was helped by some ordinary bowling as there were too many loose balls. Labuschagne cashed in to dispatch them for fours. However, a superb delivery by P Jayasuriya saw Labuschagne lose his wicket. The century-plus stand alongside Smith helped Australia dominate the proceedings.
Labuschagne has raced to 2,507 runs in Tests at an average of 54.50. He achieved the milestone in his 47th inning. Against Sri Lanka, he now has 208 runs across five Test innings at 41.60. Labuschagne now has seven Test centuries, including his first versus SL.. This is now his maiden century away from home with all of his previous six coming in Australia.
Smith was the rock for the Aussies, putting a price for his wicket. He worked hard for his runs and made sure to keep his wicket intact. He has so far managed to smash 14 fours in what has been a knock of patience. Smith brought up his 28th Test century, equaling the likes of Joe Root, Hashim Amla, and Michael Clarke.
Australia lost David Warner (5) at the start before Usman Khawaja and Labuschagne added a 55-run stand for the second wicket. Khawaja perished for 37, being dismissed by Ramesh Mendis. Post that, Labuschagne and Smith added a valiant partnership to help the Aussies gain control. Australoa lost Travis head and Cameron Green for low scores before Smith and Alex Carey added a fighting stand.
Warner was cleaned up by Rajitha after applying no foot work and staying rooted at the crease. Khawaja looked good for his 37 before a brilliantly executed delivery by Ramesh Mendis dismissed the former. Jayasuriya (3/90) got the dangerous Labuschagne with lovely turn and bounce. Another tossed up delivery had Head bowled before Green missed his sweep to be trapped LBW.