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Warner, Labuschagne share record stand, Australia 302-1

November 29, 2019 GMT
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Australia's David Warner celebrates his century during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Adelaide, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/James Elsby)
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Australia's David Warner celebrates his century during their cricket test match against Pakistan in Adelaide, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne posted back-to-back hundreds and combined in a record 294-run partnership as Australia dominated Pakistan’s revamped attack to finish day one at 302-1 in the day-night cricket test.

Warner was unbeaten on 166 and Labuschagne was not out 126 at stumps on Friday.

The second-wicket stand beat the record partnership of 248 for a day-night test set by England pair Alastair Cook and Joe Root in 2016-17.

Warner’s 23rd test century was his 17th in Australia and emphasized his comfort in home conditions following a poor Ashes series in England when he averaged 9.5, which jeopardized his spot at the top of the order.

It was a second test century in as many matches for Labuschagne, who is playing his 11th test.

Warner scored 154 and Labuschagne posted a career-high 185 last week in Australia’s innings victory over Pakistan at the Gabba, where they combined for a century partnership in Australia’s first innings of 580.

Unlike the Gabba, though, they had to join forces early because Joe Burns was dismissed in the fourth over. Burns and Warner put on 222 for the first wicket in Brisbane.

Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in gloomy conditions and with rain in the forecast for all five days of the second test 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 loss of Burns (4), who chased a ball from left-arm paceman Shaheen Afridi and edged behind to Mohammad Rizwan with the total at eight.

Labuschagne narrowly avoided a first-ball duck, Shaheen just missing the edge, but grew in confidence in combination with Warner and solidified his claim to Australia’s No. 3 position.

After that, and despite 17 overs lost because of rain, the Australian batters were ruthless in eight wicketless hours.

Warner faced 228 deliveries and hit 19 boundaries to all parts of the ground.

“One thing on my game I’ve really tried to work hard on is really try to be a bit more patient,” Warner said. “The last two games I’ve actually showed myself I can do that. I’m just really proud with how good my defense was tonight.”

It was Warner’s first century in day-night test match, a relatively new format that Australia leads the world in with a 5-0 record.

Unlike the previous day-night tests in Australia, though, the pink ball barely swung in the twilight or night conditions and the Pakistan pacemen struggled. The fielding was also poor, with Shaheen kicking the ball into the boundary rope in an embarrassing blunder in the 58th over to give Warner a four off Yasir Shah.

Labuschagne faced 205 balls and hit 17 boundaries. He went within an inch of notching his century with a six, advancing down the track to leg-spinner Yasir Shah and lofting him down to long-off. Replays showed the ball narrowly failed to clear the rope, moving Labuschagne to 98. He reached triple figures with two through the leg side on the next delivery.

He said it felt “surreal” to be scoring back-to-back centuries and combining in big stands in test cricket.

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 1-48 from 18 overs. Abbas had figures of 0-56 from 19 overs and Musa had 0-71 off 13.

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