Labuschagne, Pucovski fifties take Australia to 166/2 on rain-hit Day 1

Cricket Ticket: Labuschagne, Pucovski fifties take Australia to 166/2 on rain-hit Day 1

Marnus Labuschagne posted an unbeaten 67 and shared partnerships of 100 with Will Pucovski and 60 with Steve Smith to help Australia reach 166-2 at stumps after a rain-interrupted opening day of the third test against India.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground, giving Pucovski an immediate taste of test cricket as the 22-year-old opener started the innings with veteran David Warner.


Warner lasted only eight balls and scored five runs on his comeback from injury before he chased a full and wide ball from Mohammed Siraj and was caught at first slip with the total at 6.

Pucovski continued with Labuschagne and looked at times assured in his test debut and at times lucky to still be at the crease. He had three reprieves on his way to 50, a milestone he passed in the over before tea with consecutive boundaries against Navdeep Saini — the first two balls in test cricket for the Indian fast bowler.

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He survived a pair of dropped catches from wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant on 26 and 32 and a missed chance for a run out on 39 before running out of luck when he was trapped lbw by Saini for 62 in the 35th over, giving the Indian paceman his first test wicket.

Smith had struggled for form in the first two tests of the series but settled into his innings and was 31 not out after facing 64 deliveries.

The opening session lasted only 7.1 overs before an almost four-hour delay for the rain. Only 55 overs were played on day one.

The four-match series is tied 1-1 after Australia won the opening day-night match in Adelaide by eight wickets and India responded with an eight-wicket win in Melbourne last week.


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