Magnificent Marnus in rare air with second-innings ton

By Andrew Ramsey at Perth Stadium

MARNUS Labuschagne has become just the third Australia men’s player to score a double-century and a hundred in the same Test after once again putting the West Indies to the sword.
Two days after he posted 204 in Australia’s first innings of the opening NRMA Insurance Test at Perth Stadium – the second double-century of his career to date – Labuschagne reached another ton shortly before lunch on day four as Australia chased quick runs.

The only others to have achieved the rare milestone in the Baggy Green Cap are Doug Walters who posted 242 and 103 against the West Indies at SCG in 1968-69 and former skipper Greg Chappell whose 247 and 143 came against New Zealand at Wellington in 1974.
Labuschagne joins an exclusive club that also features West Indies greats – Brian Lara and Lawrence Rowe, India’s Sunil Gavaskar, England’s Graham Gooch and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

However, the 28-year-old rode his luck as Australia pushed their lead past 450 with a declaration from captain Pat Cummins coming at lunch on day four.
Labuschagne was targeted by a series of short balls by rival quick Alzarri Joseph, that brought false stroke from consecutive deliveries.
The first induced an attempted pull shot that took the top edge of Labuschagne’s bat and flew over the slips to clear the boundary rope at deep third to reach 19.

Next ball brought an even more dramatic outcome, with another top edge clattering into Labuschagne’s helmet before looping to gully where it was caught.
But as the foot-weary West Indies bowlers gathered in rare celebration of their sixth wicket of the match to that point, attention was drawn to umpire Richard Illingworth who confirmed Joseph had overstepped, by signalling no-ball.

Labuschagne returned to the middle, where he set about flaying the bowling in partnership with opener David Warner (who was dismissed for 48) and then with Steve Smith who had also posted a double-hundred in Australia’s first innings of 4(dec)-598.

Smith was unbeaten on 19 when Labuschagne reached his second ton of the match with a boundary from spinner and captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
“Obviously a bit of luck today,” Labuschagne told Fox Cricket when he went to lunch unbeaten on 104.

“With that bouncer, he (Joseph) was bowling quite fast there and I got away with one but it’s always nice.
“It’s something I’ve never done before and I’m obviously very proud.
“It got the beans running.

“I played some rogue shots for a few shots after that (dismissal off a no-ball), and then tried to compose myself and get the heart rate down.
“But that was a really good spell, I think he was hitting 145, 146 (kph) … a real good battle.”


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