Marnus Labuschagne career best puts Australia in a commanding position despite New Zealand fightback

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Picture Courtsey: The National

Thanks to a career best score by Marnus Labuschagne of 215, despite New Zealand fightback, Australia ended the 2nd day of the 3rd Test match in a commanding position played at Sydney Cricket Ground, SCG on Saturday.

It was an ideal start for the Kiwis as William Somerville got the breakthrough dismissing Matthew Wade in very first over. Wade and Labuschagne added 37 runs for the 4th wicket. Travis Head came to the crease and looked edgy. Labuschagne looked positive against William Somerville and made the batting look easy. The youngster reached his 150 off 253 balls. Matt Henry dismissed Travis Head for 10. Head and Labuschagne added 43 runs for the 5th wicket. Tim Paine came to the crease and looked solid with his defensive technique. At lunch, Australia scored 336 for 5.

In the 2nd session, Paine and Labuschagne showed their class with positive stroke play. Labuschagne reached his maiden double century off 346 balls. Colin de Grandhomme provided the breakthrough for New Zealand bowling a beauty to dismiss Australian captain Tim Paine. Paine and Labuschagne added 79 runs for the 6th wicket. After the fall of Labuschange wicket, New Zealand bowlers grabbed wickets in quick succession.  Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon frustrated New Zealand bowlers adding 24 runs for the final wicket. Wagner dismissed Mitchell Starc and with that tea was called. Australia were bowled out for 454.

The third session saw Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc bowling with venom in the first few overs. James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon were also introduced into the attack, but Tom Latham and Tom Blundell survived the opening burst. In the dying moments of day, Australia called for a review for a catch but on a review, there was no edge as Tom Blundell survived. New Zealand ended the 2nd day on 63 for 0.

With the pitch having bounce and pace, New Zealand still have a mountain to climb. It promises to be an exciting day of play on the third day to see if the Kiwis can put on solid show against Australian bowlers.

New Zealand 63 for 0 in 29 overs (Tom Blundell 34*, Tom Latham 26*) trail Australia 454 in 150.1 overs ( Marnus Labuschagne 215, Steve Smith 63, Warner 45, Neil Wagner 3/66, Colin de Grandhomme 3/78) by 391 runs.

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