Marnus Labuschagne hits another hundred but New South Wales strike back

Cricket

Queensland 7 for 273 (Labuschagne 117, Peirson 66) v New South Wales

Marnus Labuschagne made it two centuries in his first two innings of the season on a compelling day against New South Wales highlighted by his duels with Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon.

A fifth-wicket stand of 136 between Labuschagne and Jimmy Peirson lifted Queensland from 4 for 115 although New South Wales struck late with the second new ball, including the wicket of Labuschagne in the final over of the day to Trent Copeland, to even up the contest.

In his first outing of the season Starc claimed two wickets but Lyon went wickless through 15 overs and was dominated by Labuschagne. In the 41 deliveries Lyon bowled to him, Labuschagne scored 44 runs which included consecutive reverse sweeps to reach his century from 151 balls.

His contest with Starc had been equally good viewing as the left-arm quick tried to ruffle his Australia team-mate. He struck Labuschagne on the shoulder with the final delivery of the morning session – with Labuschagne’s response to just turn and walk off for lunch – and then in the afternoon gave him a warning for backing up.

Labuschagne was within two deliveries of being able to resume his innings on the second morning but missed a straight delivery from Copeland as Queensland lost 3 for 22 on a day of high-quality cricket.

The Queensland openers had laid a solid platform after being put into bat until Bryce Street edged to third slip in the 18th over. Test opener Joe Burns got himself set before a loose dismissal, top edging a half-hearted pull.

Sean Abbott followed that by producing a beauty to trim Usman Khawaja’s off stump then Starc got his season up and running by finding Matt Renshaw’s edge.

But Labuschagne had got himself set and found an impressive partner in Peirson for a stand that occupied 37 overs. Peirson’s innings was given a kickstart as he took 14 off an over against Starc – the same one in which Labuschagne had his warning – although he did not know much about the top-edged short ball which flew over the keeper for six.

His half-century came from 87 deliveries and when he and Labuschagne were present for the second new ball it looked as though they may see out the day. However, Peirson gloved Starc down the leg side with the bowler convinced he had a repeat dismissal against Jack Wildermuth, and replays suggested the batsman was lucky to survive, but he was soon pinned lbw by Copeland.

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