Ashes, 2nd Test: England pick three wickets after Labuschagne reaches century

Adelaide: England picked up three wickets despite Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne reaching his sixth Test century in the first session on day two of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. At the dinner break, Australia were 302/5 in 116 overs with Steve Smith (batting 55) and Alex Carey (batting 5) at the crease.

Resuming from 221/2, captain Smith got the first boundary with a fierce cut through point off James Anderson. Labuschagne, who ended day one unbeaten on 95, reached his maiden century in the Ashes with a streaky edge past the slip cordon off Anderson for his eighth boundary in a gritty knock. Labuschagne reached the three-figure mark in 287 balls, making this his slowest century in Test cricket.

Labuschagne, who got two reprieves, on 21 and 95, was caught behind by keeper Jos Buttler on 102 off Ollie Robinson’s first delivery of the day. But replays showed that Robinson’s foot was on the line with nothing behind, giving Labuschagne another life. Eventually, Robinson had the last laugh in his next over, with a nip-backer that Labuschagne shouldered arms to, and the ball hit him on the knee roll of the back pad. The right-handed batter reviewed but couldn’t change the decision.

Smith, in company of Travis Head, continued to move forward to reach his 32nd half-century, with a top-edge flying past Buttler while pulling a short ball from Ben Stokes. Head lofted over Joe Root’s head but the England captain got his wicket on the next ball, foxing the left-hander in yorking himself.

Cameron Green didn’t last long as Stokes got one to move past the outer edge and hit the top of off-stump. Smith and Carey ensured that Australia didn’t lose another wicket till dinner break arrived.

Brief Scores: Australia 302/5 in 116 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 103, David Warner 95; Ben Stokes 2/70) vs England.

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