Australia declares at 217-2; sets NZ 416-run target
SYDNEY (AP) — David Warner scored an unbeaten century and Marnus Labuschagne notched yet another fifty this summer as Australia declared its second innings at 217-2 shortly after lunch on the fourth day, setting New Zealand a target of 416 runs to win the third test.
Warner brought up his 24th test hundred and fifth at the Sydney Cricket Ground shortly after lunch Monday off 147 balls with nine boundaries. He celebrated with his customary leap, before kissing the badge on his helmet and raising both arms aloft.
Labuschagne (59), with a Australian record 895 runs in five matches this summer, continued to accumulate quickly and reached his fifty off 64 balls with four boundaries before holing out in the deep off Matt Henry prompting the declaration by captain Tim Paine.
Warner was 111 not out at the declaration.
New Zealand received a rare bonus this series with Australia receiving a five-run penalty for running on the pitch late in its innings. The decision by umpire Aleem Dar that Warner and Labuschagne were not veering off the pitch quickly enough while running seemed harsh on the hosts. The five runs will be subtracted from the victory target for New Zealand which had stood at 421.
Earlier Monday, Australia resumed at 40 without loss, with Warner and Joe Burns adding 67 runs in 13 overs before legspinner Todd Astle made the breakthrough trapping Burns LBW for 40.
After three scores in the forties this series, Warner was in a typical upbeat mood as he completed his 31st test half-century off 82 balls with four boundaries.
After Burns’ misjudged an Astle (1-41) delivery, Labuschagne came to the crease and continued to sustain the run-rate as the host’s worked toward an unassailable lead.