Blackcaps v Australia: Marnus Labuschagne heaps misery onto New Zealand

  • 04/01/2020
Marnus Labuschagne.
Marnus Labuschagne. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Marnus Labuschagne has moved past Steve Smith's batting average to take Australia to 354/5 at lunch on day two of the third Test against New Zealand at the SCG.

Labuschagne, well on track to make the fourth hundred of his brilliant summer a big one, is not out on 181 after adding 51 to his overnight score.

Matthew Wade (22) and Travis Head (10) were the men to fall on Saturday morning, with Tim Paine not out 10.

With the series already wrapped up, Labuschagne's haul has momentarily taken him past Smith with the second highest batting average in Test history.

The right-hander's career figures stand at 1366 runs at an average of 65.04, above Smith's 62.84.

Granted, Labuschagne has played far fewer Tests but his 22 innings means he qualifies to hold the mantle as the highest batting average since Don Bradman.

He has now also passed 800 runs for the summer, joining Bradman, Neil Harvey and England's Wally Hammond to do so in a five-Test summer in Australia.

The Queenslander has driven nicely on day two, playing the shot of the day when he sent Matt Henry to the boundary through mid on.

Meanwhile New Zealand have endured another day from hell.

Scans have confirmed paceman Henry has suffered a broken hand, although he will continue to bowl.

Jeet Raval has joined Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner in the sick bay, sitting out the first hour of play.

That even prompted batting coach Peter Fulton to wear the whites, running the drinks and ready to act as a substitute fielder if required.

The Black Caps at least had some early joy when Will Somerville bowled Wade in the first over of the day, taking his off stump as he attempted to sweep hard.

Head later fell caught behind, trying to cut a ball from Henry too close to his body.