David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne struck half-centuries as Australia dominated the second session of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. At the tea break on Day One, Australia were 129/1 in 53 overs with Warner batting on 65 and Labuschagne (batting 53) stitching an unbeaten 125-run stand.
Resuming on 45/1 at the dinner break, James Anderson bowled a probing spell, testing Warner and Labuschagne. It resulted in the duo having a few nervous moments. Labuschagne, who earlier braved a testing short-ball exam from Ben Stokes in the first session, received a reprieve on 21. Stokes had him edging a pull on a bouncer but it went high to the left of keeper Jos Buttler, who jumped to catch with both hands but coul’n’t get hold of it.
Warner reached his 32nd Test fifty with a magnificent pull off Stokes, splitting deep square leg and deep backward square leg to perfection. Labuschagne also reached his 12th Test half-century by pushing Ollie Robinson to mid-off for three runs.
Earlier, Warner and Labuschagne weathered tough questions posed by England bowlers to survive the first session. Anderson and Stuart Broad provided limited scoring opportunities and challenged the outer edges of Warner and Marcus Harris.
Harris, saved by DRS on lbw off Broad, was the first wicket to fall for Australia, brilliantly caught down the legside by Jos Buttler diving to his right off Broad. England went on to burn their two reviews in order to send Warner back to the dressing room. Broad thought he had Warner lbw on 0 in the eighth over while Chris Woakes chased an lbw against Warner.
After 12 overs, Australia had just 15 on the board with Warner getting off the mark on his 20th ball. With Labuschagne at the other end, Warner settled down and struck a couple of boundaries against Broad and Woakes. Labuschagne seemed to be in trouble by short balls from Ben Stokes despite getting a boundary off him.
Australia 129/1 in 53 overs (David Warner 65 not out, Marnus Labuschagne 53 not out, Stuart Broad 1/27) against England