Thanks to brilliant partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, Australia have ended the 1st day of the 3rd Test match in a commanding position played at Sydney Cricket Ground, SCG on Friday.
Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and decided to bat first. New Zealand were forced to make 5 changes in the squad. Joe Burns and David Warner started off to a cautious note against the new ball. At the stroke of first drinks break, Colin de Grandhomme provided the breakthrough as he dismissed Joe Burns for 18. Burns and Warner added 39 runs for the opening wicket. Marnus Labuschagne came to the crease and continued his impressive run that he displayed in 2019. Warner played with positive intent putting pressure on the New Zealand bowlers. At lunch, Australia were 95 for 1.
In the very first over after lunch, Neil Wagner dismissed David Warner to give New Zealand their 2nd wicket. Warner and Labuschagne added 56 runs for the 2nd wicket. De Grandhomme and Neil Wagner kept tight line and length against Steve Smith. Smith finally got off the mark on the 39th ball. Labuschagne impressed with his technique against Todd Astle and Somerville. Labuschagne reached his fifty off 97 balls. Smith and Labuschagne kept the scorecard ticking. Australia ended on 182 for 2 at the end of tea break.
After the tea break, Labuschagne and Smith continued to make the batting look easy. Wagner was the best bowler of the day with tight line and lengths. Smith got his 50 off 143 balls and made the batting look easy. Labuschagne showed his class to reach his century off 163 balls. New Zealand stand in captain Tom Latham took the 2nd new ball immediately after the 80th over. Colin de Grandhomme provided the breakthrough for Kiwis getting the wicket of Steve Smith as the batsman guided the catch to Ross Taylor at first slips. Labuschagne and Smith added 156 runs for the 3rd wicket. Matthew Wade came to the crease and looked positive with his stroke play. Australia ended the first day in a strong position at 283 for 3.
Australia 283 for 3 in 90 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 130*, Steve Smith 63, Colin de Grandhomme 2/63)