Marnus Labuschagne reached his maiden double century in the second session on day two at the SCG. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
Marnus Labuschagne has added another chapter to his glorious summer with the bat with a maiden double century on day two of the third Test against New Zealand at the SCG.
- Marnus Labuschagne made 215
- Australia all out for 454 all out in first innings
- New Zealand 0-63 at stumps
Labuschagne posted a highest Test score of 215, as Australia compiled a mammoth first-innings total of 454 to consolidate its dominance of the Black Caps in the Trans-Tasman Trophy series.
The Black Caps did well to reach 63 without loss when stumps was called on day two, with Tom Blundell 34 not out and stand-in captain Tom Latham unbeaten on 26.
@7Cricket video tweet: “Just when you thought Marnus Labuschagne’s summer couldn’t get any better…”
Labuschagne’s double ton adds to scores of 185, 162, 143, 63, 50 and 19 across the two domestic series against Pakistan and the Black Caps.
The rich vein of form — producing a staggering 837 runs — has seen the 25-year-old overtake the great Neil Harvey (834) for most runs scored by an Australian during a five-Test summer.
There were few nervous moments for the South Africa-born Labuschagne on day two, aside from a lengthy stint sitting on 199 that was extended by the drinks break during the session after lunch.
He was eventually dismissed — caught and bowled to Todd Astle — after his 363-ball innings produced 19 fours and a six.
After Steve Smith’s 63 on the opening day, Labuschagne did not enjoy any significant support during his impressive knock, although Australia captain Tim Paine made a handy 35 before being bowled by Colin de Grandhomme (3-78).
Mitchell Starc proved a thorn in the side of the Black Caps late in the Australian innings with a plucky 22 before he was dismissed by fast bowler Neil Wagner, who finished with the visitors’ best bowling figures of 3-66.
Tom Blundell (right) and Tom Latham got through 29 overs unbeaten. (Andrew Cornaga: AP/Photosport)
Black Caps openers Latham and Blundell were unconvincing early in their first innings, but once they settled they were able to keep the Australian bowling attack at bay.
The visitors were forced to name a re-jigged XI for the SCG Test, but the resistance shown by Blundell and Latham will give them confidence they can dig even deeper on day three.
Australia’s Nathan Lyon was coming into his own on day two as the ball began to turn quite sharply at the SCG. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
See how it all unfolded in our live blog.