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‘Matured’ Marnus silences Windies as Smith stars again in Aussie Test domination

Matured Marnus silences Windies as Smith stars again in Aussie Test domination
‘Matured’ Marnus silences Windies as Smith stars again in Aussie Test domination

Marnus Labuschagne’s eighth Test ton has put Australia in a commanding position at stumps on day one of the first Test in Perth.

Coming to the crease with the Aussies in early trouble against the West Indies on Wednesday after David Warner’s lean Test run continued, Labuschagne (154*) produced a “mature” and “composed” innings to guide the home side to 2-293.

The star batsman, dubbed “Mr Reliable” by Fox Cricket commentators, was patient early in his innings before putting his foot down after lunch.

Watch the first Test between Australia and the West Indies LIVE and ad-break free during play on Fox Cricket, and stream on Kayo. Coverage starts 11.50am AEDT Wednesday >

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He enjoyed a little war of words with West Indian Jayden Seales and survived a sharp chance at second slip missed by 2.01m Jason Holder before reaching triple figures for the seventh time in Test matches on Australian soil.

Labuschagne used the milestone to pay tribute to his newborn daughter Hallie, by celebrating with a cradle rock motion.

Australian Test greats Adam Gilchrist and Mike Hussey were full of praise for Labuschagne’s patience at the crease when runs were hard to come by in the early Perth heat.

“Last year we saw him much more animated. He’s a bit more settled today,” Gilchrist said.

“Last year it was almost like he was commentating while playing. It’s almost like he’s maturing a little bit.”

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Hussey said Labuschagne seemed “more composed”, especially when Steve Smith (59*) joined him at the crease when Usman Khawaja departed for a well-made 65.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of nervous energy there,” he said.

“But he does seem a lot more composed, a lot more in control. Last year he gave us all plenty of laughs, showing how invested he was.

“He’s taken a deep breath and is a bit calmer at the crease.”

The 154* takes Labuschagne’s average at Perth Stadium to a remarkable 173.5, as he returned to a pitch where he is yet to post a score lower than 50.

Labuschagne and Smith guided the Aussies to stumps, but not before the centurion survived another chance in the field – this time dropped by Tagenarine Chanderpaul on 136.

It was a disappointing end to the day for the West Indies, who had earlier toiled hard to dismiss both Warner (5) and Khawaja (65) before tea.

But Gilchrist admitted the visitors could have enjoyed a more successful day had they taken their chances.

“They could have reaped much more reward,” he said.

“They’ve got to be careful of not going through the motions here,” commentator Brendan Julian added.

The work of allrounder Kyle Mayers was a positive for the West Indies on day one.

He was the man to get the break through the West Indies desperately needed before tea, luring Khawaja onto the front foot before getting the edge through to the keeper.

“He’s not the fastest bowler in the attack but he does enough. He’s a bit of a spiritual leader it seems in this team,” Gilchrist praised.

“Coming around the wicket, you are drawn to that stroke no matter what.”

Earlier in the day, Warner’s lean run with the bat on home soil continued, with his fourth straight single figure dismissal.

The opener was cautious from the first ball but freed his arms in the fourth over to record Australia’s first boundary of the day.

But his joy was short lived as he chopped on the very next ball, throwing his head back in obvious frustration.

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Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales

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