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Marnus Labuschagne On 81* As Australia Stand Steady On 162/2 At Tea On Day 1

Australia reached 162-2 at tea following captain Pat Cummins' decision to bat in hot and dry conditions against West Indies in 1st Test.

AFP News
By AFP News November 30, 2022 • 12:44 PM

Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja shared in a 142-run stand Wednesday to put Australia on track for a big total in the opening Test against the West Indies at Perth Stadium.

The hosts reached 162-2 at tea following captain Pat Cummins' decision to bat in hot and dry conditions.


After getting the early wicket of David Warner for five, the West Indies had to toil for hours in the heat to bag another, with a patient Khawaja compiling 65 off 149 balls before edging Kyle Mayers to wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva

Labuschagne was 81 not out and Steve Smith unbeaten on four at the break as the West Indies target a first Test win in Australia for 25 years.

Labuschagne and Khawaja came together after Warner fell to young paceman Jayden Seales, and hardly put a foot wrong.

They had to work hard for runs against economical bowling in the opening session of the first Test between the sides for nearly seven years, reaching 72-1 at lunch.

But they accelerated the run rate after the break with Labuschagne bringing up his 14th half-century in his 29th Test with a three off Jason Holder.

A faultless Khawaja, who has been a rock at the top of the order this year, soon followed, cracking spinner Roston Chase for four then a single to reach his 18th half-century in his 52nd Test.

Khawaja had scored four Test centuries and reached the 90s twice in the last 12 months, with more glory beckoning.

But he was undone by a beautiful delivery from Mayers which trimmed the outside edge of his bat and was an easy take for Da Silva.

Wearing black armbands to mourn former West Indies wicketkeeper David Murray, who died last week, the visitors kept Warner and Khawaja in check in the opening overs.

Warner's first attacking shot saw Jayden Seales pulled for a boundary in the fourth over.

But the left-hander's aggression cost him next ball as tried to drive a wider delivery only to drag it back on to his stumps and be out for five.

It was a big wicket for the 21-year-old Trinidadian and his first in Australia.

The West Indies suffered a blow before the match with allrounder Raymon Reifer ruled out of the two-Test series after picking up a groin injury.

They handed a debut to batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the son of retired great Shivnarine.

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Top-ranked Australia made just one change from their last Test against Sri Lanka in July, with speedster Josh Hazlewood back in place of spinner Mitchell Swepson.