Marnus Labuschagne’s 215 puts Aussies in control against New Zealand

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne acknowledges the crowd after reaching 150 runs during the second day of the third Test match against New Zealand. Photo: by Jeremy Ng/AFP via Getty.
Australia's Marnus Labuschagne acknowledges the crowd after reaching 150 runs during the second day of the third Test match against New Zealand. Photo: by Jeremy Ng/AFP via Getty.
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Marnus Labuschagne’s stunning form continued with a double century putting Australia in command on day two of the third Test against New Zealand.

In sapping heat, Labuschagne took his overnight score of 130 to 215 as Australia racked up 454 in their first innings. The illness-depleted New Zealand made a steady start in response, going to 63-0 at stumps with Tom Blundell unbeaten on 34 and stand-in captain Tom Latham 26 not out in Sydney.

Labuschagne, the world’s top Test scorer in 2019, created more history through his marathon innings of more than eight-and-a-half overs.

He now has 837 Test runs for the home season, the highest tally in a five-Test summer by any Australian, bettering Neil Harvey’s 834 of more than 60 years ago.

Australia resumed on 283-3 and while Matthew Wade fell quickly, there was far more pain in store for New Zealand, who came into this dead-rubber last Test after heavy losses in the first two, and having lost three players to a flu bug.

Labuschagne shared partnerships of 43 with Travis Head (10) and 79 with Tim Paine (35) before his 363-ball knock was ended by leg-spinner Todd Astle, who caught the in-form batsman off his own bowling.

Colin De Granhomme and Neil Wagner shared Black Caps’ bowling honours with three wickets apiece.