Twitter Reactions: Latham, Blundell hold fort after Labuschagne’s double

Twitter Reactions: Latham, Blundell hold fort after Labuschagne’s double

The Aussies used five bowlers to dislodge New Zealand's opening duo, but to no avail.

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After dominating New Zealand on the first day of the Sydney Test, Australia couldn’t quite turn the screws on the second day. But Tim Paine and Co are still pretty much in the ascendancy with the Black Caps trailing by 391 runs. For the Kiwis, they didn’t allow their opponent to run away with the game. In order to clinch the ascendancy, the visitors have a tough road ahead though.

Labuschagne dominates

Marnus Labuschagne (215) and Matthew Wade (22) started proceedings, but the latter perished in the very first over. William Somerville rattled his woodwork to break the ominous-looking stand. Travis Head tried to buckle down and eventually fell prey to Matt Henry. At the other end, Labuschagne carried on his own merry way and was unbeaten on 181 at the end of the first session.

Skipper Paine then joined hands with Labuschagne and put on a partnership of 79 runs. The duo helped the Aussies recover from the early jitters. Labuschagne scored his maiden Test double off 346 balls and it was Todd Astle, who finally removed the big fish. Thereafter, the hosts lost James Pattinson and Pat Cummins in pretty quick succession. But Mitchell Starc came out all guns blazing.

Openers see New Zealand through

The southpaw scored 22 off 21 and propelled Australia to a formidable 454 in 150.1 overs. For New Zealand, Colin de Grandhomme and Neil Wagner were the most successful, picking up three wickets each. With a massive score ahead of them, the Black Caps’ openers Tom Blundell (34*) and Tom Latham (26*) were in for a stern task. However, the pair didn’t succumb to the immense pressure.

They played out 29 overs, scoring 63 runs. Albeit the runs didn’t flow off their bat, they made sure that Australia had to work hard in in the third session. The home team used as many as five bowlers, including the spin options, Nathan Lyon and Labuschagne, but to no avail. On the third day, Latham and Blundell will be looking to convert their starts and take the Black Caps closer to Australia’s tally.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the day’s play: –