Mother Nature may have stopped play for some time on the opening day of the New Year’s/Pink Test at the SCG in Sydney, but the Aussies are off to a great start with the bat on 147-2 at the moment – thanks to their winning toss beforehand.
Although it was a shame not to see Dave Warner keep up from his mighty double-ton (1st innings) last week in Melbourne after being caught by Marco Jansen (off Anrich Nortje for 10) at 1st slip, it’s great to see both Usman Khawaja (Other Opener) & Marnus Labuschagne (No.3) form a really good partnership in the middle together that helped the Aussies work their way past the three-figure mark, having both reached their own Test 50s.
In between another rain-delay & early end of Day 1 at stumps, Marnus was lucky to survive the 1st time on 70 runs when Simon Harmer thought he got him out at slip, but then the umpires double checked it on the screen as the ball didn’t carry straight onto his hands that saw the bounce fell so short. However, Marnus didn’t escape this time not long later off the back from another excellent Nortje delivery – where he too was caught behind by Kyle Verreynne for 79 off 151 balls.
I’ve gotta say that Nortje made the batters play when he not only produced some brilliant speed but he also drew these good areas, so Warner & Marnus gets trapped with the help of his fielders along the way. Really good stuff as the Proteas look to use the overcast/wet weather as their advantage going into the 2nd day’s play & try to wrap it up with the ball ASAP.
Meanwhile, Australia will look to hang in there & go the extra mile with Steve Smith up next to start the day at No.4 alongside Khawaja who is currently on 54*.