Steve Smith Finally Gets Triple Figures, Labuschagne Ends The Drought Too

Steve Smith Finally Gets Triple Figures, Labuschagne Ends The Drought Too

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08 Jul 2022
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Sri Lanka vs Australia

After a disciplined innings against Sri Lanka, Steve Smith finally scored his 28th Test century on Friday as Australia reached the stumps at 5-298 on the first day of the second Test. Following his long awaited century from Marnus Labuschagne before tea, Australia were in total control at Galle at 2–204, but then lost three wickets in the next 20 overs.

However, Sri Lanka failed to press upon the visitors as Smith continued to flourish runs with his bat on a tricky wicket. Smith will open the batting on the second day with 109 while Alex Carey is unbeaten on 16.

Smith walked past the fifty before tea but he didn’t celebrate it zestfully as he eyed a big prize of three figures. After 193 balls, Smith finally got it. Smith had not reached three figures in Test cricket since January 2021, while this is his second red ball century after the 2019 Ashes. In the meantime, he played 16 Test innings without a century, and 32 with just one.

It was also a crucial day for Labuschagne who scored his seventh Test century – and his first from home – in 146 balls, as Australia recovered from defeats by David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the first session.

Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat as Australia look to wrap up the two-Test series with either a draw or a win. Australia lost Warner (5) in the fifth over with a Kasun Rajitha paceman hitting outside off-the-wicket and dodging his off-stump.

Labuschagne scored his century off 146 balls, but only lasted 10 more when he was beaten in flight by Test debutant Prabhat Jayasuriya (3-90) for his first wicket. His partnership with Smith was 134 runs, which put Australia in a dominant position after two seasons.

Travis Head missed the big score again, Jayasuriya bowled a delivery that hit his stump. head was left in disbelief and did not leave the field until a replay was seen, which confirmed that the ball had indeed hit his stumps.

Cameron Green didn’t stay longer on crease either. He was dismissed lbw by Jayasuriya for four, causing Australia to lose 3-48. It was a lineball call in which the decision was upheld only by the umpire’s call, the effect of which was close to being outside the line.

But despite seizing the momentum for a while, it was as good as it got for Sri Lanka that day, when Smith regained control for Australia.

Steve Smith reached triple figures inside the final half-hour of the game with a brilliant cover drive that went off limits. There was to be no gleeful celebration, but Smith hugged batting partner Alex Carey, saluted the changeroom, and rolled up his sleeves again to reach the stumps not out.

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