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07-Jan-2021 08:04:00 GMT
Aus vs Ind - 3rd Test, SCG, day 1

Labuschagne, Pucovski fifties gives Australia the Edge

Australia 166 for 2 (Labuschagne 67*, Pucovski 62) v India

Sydeny: The partnership that India and their fans did not want to see has finally made an appearance as Australian batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne piled on the runs in the final session of Day 1 of the Sydney Test.

Australia finished Day 1 with the score on 166/2 after Tim Paine won the toss and opted to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith, who was seen shadow batting in his hotel room before the Test in his whites, showed great intent as he kept his nemesis so far this series, R Ashwin, at bay during what was a fascinating phase of play in the final session of the day, which saw more than 30 overs lost due to rain.

By the time stumps were drawn on Day 1 at the SCG, Smith and Labuschagne had stitched together a 60-run partnership, putting the hosts in a position of advantage.

However, the day did not start off as well as Australia would have wanted as the comeback man David Warner was dismissed for 5 when Mohammed Siraj had him caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip.

A few overs later, rain would force the players off the field for almost three hours, resulting in an early Lunch.

Once back in, debutant Will Pucovski and Labuschagne dug in. The debutant was afforded a couple of chances as Rishabh Pant dropped him off both Ashwin and Siraj before he went on to complete a gritty half century.

Pucovski scored 62 before being beaten for pace by the debutant in the opposition.

Saini, who like Siraj had to wait a while for his first over, had his first Test wicket; and that was the last bit of joy for India on the day.

Smith and Labuschagne then took charge of the final couple of hours of the day and kept India at bay.

Labuschagne, one of Australia’s better performers with the bat so far, went on to register his first half century of the series.

Labuschagne finished the day unbeaten on 67 with Smith holding up his end on 31, a significant improvement from his previous scores in the series.

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