David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne put on a record breaking display on the first day of the Pink Ball Test against Pakistan in Adelaide on Friday as their back-to-back centuries, combined with a massive partnership of 294 helped Australia reach a position of strength. This was Warner's 23rd century as an opener while Labuschagne continued his consistent run since the Ashes to further cement his spot as a reliable number three in the Australian team. For Pakistan, it was another loose display as spinners and pacers struggled to create opportunities on a pitch that had some grass covering and a pink ball which would swing a lot more in the night.
Australia won the toss and they chose to bat but they were immediately dealt a big blow when Shaheen Afridi got rid of Joe Burns cheaply. Warner, though, looked good at the other end and got off the mark with a boundary off Mohammad Abbas. Warner was well supported by Marnus Labuschagne but the left-hander was in great touch, smashing debutant Muhammad Musa for two boundaries. Warner continued to target Musa but play was halted for an hour after the tea break due to rain. Following the delay, both players grew in confidence.
Warner reached his fifty in streaky style when an overthrow resulted in six runs. Labuschagne notched up his half century with a couple of boundaries off Musa and Yasir Shah as Pakistan struggled. After the dinner break, Warner continued to find the boundary on a regular basis and he reached his century with a tap to backward point.
Along with Warner, Labuschagne also grew in confidence and he neared his century with two boundaries off Musa, who was having a nightmare debut. Labuschagne entered the 90s with a couple of fours off Yasir Shah and he reached his landmark by working a legbreak to midwicket for a couple. After both players got to their landmark, both attacked with vigour with Warner racing past 150 with two fours off Yasir Shah.
The current stand between Warner and Labuschagne is the best for the second wicket in a Test in Adelaide while it is also the best for the current stand against Pakistan in the format. Commenting after the end of the day, Labuschagne said batting with Warner was surreal.
"It is just amazing to be out here with Davey and to put on another big partnership, really happy with that. We run hard and almost run myself out there at the back end, but lovely intensity at the crease and I love fighting hard for runs, its fun," Labuschagne said.
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