Warner, Labuschagne lift Australia to 139-1 vs Pakistan
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne posted half-centuries in an unbeaten 131-run stand to lift Australia to 139-1 after two sessions in the rain-interrupted day-night cricket test against Pakistan.
Both batsmen scored big hundreds in Australia’s victory by an innings and five runs in the series-opener at Brisbane last week and were back Friday in command against the new-look Pakistan pace attack.
Warner was unbeaten on 72 from 116 deliveries at the dinner interval, and Labuschagne was 60 not out from 118 balls. They’ve hit 19 boundaries between them, punishing anything short or over-pitched while remaining focused on playing defense in the moist, twilight conditions against the pink ball.
Australia was 70-1 at the first interval, before a lengthy delay for rain meant there was only 18 overs possible in the second session. The Australians added 69 runs.
Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in gloomy conditions and with rain in the forecast for all five days at the Adelaide Oval, opting against the temptation to bowl first in conditions that would have suited his pace attack.
It paid off, despite the early loss of Joe Burns.
The Australian openers shared a 222-run opening stand in first test last week, setting the hosts on course for a 580 total, but lasted 3.3 overs in the second test before Burns chased a ball from left-arm paceman Shaheen Afridi and edged behind to Mohammad Rizwan.
Warner, who scored 154 last week in a return to form following a forgettable Ashes series, stroked 10 boundaries and appeared to be in good touch on home soil, where he averages more than 60 per test innings.
Labuschagne, who narrowly avoided a first-ball duck against Shaheen, scored a career-high 185 last week and is growing in confidence. He posted his sixth half-century in 11 tests to solidify his claim to Australia’s No. 3 position.
While the Australians stuck with the same XI that won the series opener, Pakistan made three changes in a bid to end a losing streak in tests in Australia that dates back to 1995.
Mohammad Abbas was recalled and 19-year-old Muhammad Musa got a test debut at the expense of Imran Khan and 16-year-old Naseem Shah.
Shaheen had the only breakthrough of the day for Pakistan, returning 1-23 from 11 overs. Abbas had figures of 0-46 from 15 overs and Musa had a costly opening nine overs returning 0-47.