Australia vs New Zealand, third test: Marnus Labuschagne hits tons while Australia takes over Sydney
SYDNEY Marnus Labuschagne He scored his fourth century in five games when Australia dominated a New Zealand team devastated by the disease and the missing captain Kane Williamson to reach 283 for three on the first day of the third and final test on Friday.
With the series already lost after heavy defeats in Perth and Melbourne, the Black Caps shook when Williamson, hitter Henry Nicholl and spinner Mitchell Santner were ruled out by a flu virus.
Australia had never needed an invitation to loot this series and the impromptu attack of New Zealand was carried to the sword on a mostly sunny day when the smoke from the wildfires was kept away from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
Labuschagne seemed immovable when he hit 130 magnificent not to add to the 185 and 162 entries he registered against Pakistan in November and the 143 he scored against New Zealand in the first Test.
The 25-year-old accumulated in the races in a third 156 wicket association with Steve Smith (63) and will resume Saturday with Matthew Wade, who had scored 22 not out of 30 balls at the end of the game.
It's weird that you play with a visiting team with five changes, but those are the circumstances they have with the disease, Labuschagne said.
It was a good day and a good day for Australia ... I'm just trying to keep it in the moment, just focus on each ball.
Tom Latham was named captain of New Zealand in Williamson's absence and his first act was to lose a shot that tourists would have been desperate to win after selecting two spinners and dropping pacemaker Tim Southee.
With Southee's usual attack partner, Trent Boult, ruled out by injury, New Zealand began a Test for the first time in more than a decade without either of them or Williamson on the side.
Colin de Grandhomme, who took the new ball with Matt Henry, played a role in the three wickets to fall, first with starter Joe Burns caught in the slips of an outer edge for 18.
David Warner left for 45 three balls after lunch when the fast Neil Wagner fired a delivery by the side of the leg that the Australian starter directed for De Grandhomme to take a good catch.
Wagner has fired Smith four times in four innings this series and the former Australian captain was so determined not to reach five that he took 39 deliveries to get on the board.
The biggest ovation of the first two sessions came when Labuschagne started the wicket in search of a hurried single that finally took Smith out of the mark.
Labuschagne had a nervous spell in 99, but a fourth, his eighth, a thin leg finally took him to the mark of the century for the fourth time in 14 tests.
Smith finally fell to De Grandhomme and the second new ball, the world's second ranked test batter clearly furious with himself after leaving his bat and watching the ball slip and fall into Ross Taylor's hands on the first slide.