Marnus Labuschagne’s stellar summer reached a new peak with his maiden double century as Australia was bowled out for 454 on the second day of the third Test against New Zealand at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Labuschagne scored 215 off 363 balls, with 19 boundaries and a six, before his epic innings was ended caught and bowled by leg-spinner Todd Astle nearing tea on Saturday.
The world’s fourth-ranked batsman has scored 837 runs in five matches, including four centuries, this summer at an incredible average of 119.6.
Labuschagne with 837 runs joined the elite-list of great batsmen to score 800 runs in a five-Test summer on Australian soil. Don Bradman (810 and 806), Wally Hammond (905) and Neil Harvey (834) are the only other to do so.
He is also the first player to make four-Test scores of 140 or more during an Australian summer.
The middle-order batsman is also the highest run-scorer in the World Test Championship so far. In 9 Tests, Labuschagne has scored 1190 runs at a staggering average of 85. The second on the list is his fellow teammate Steve Smith with 1028 runs in 9 matches.
With 215, Labuschagne maintained Australia's batsmen tradition to score the first double ton of the decade in Test cricket since the 2000s. Current Australia's head coach Justin Langer was the first batsman to breach the 200-run mark in 2000s decade, while the former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting slammed the first double ton of 2010s.
It took Labuschagne well over an hour into the middle session to get the final 19 runs he needed from his 181 not out at lunch and the 25-year-old was stalled for several overs on 199 before a streaky outside edge off Colin de Grandhomme raced away for a boundary and gave Labuschagne his first double century off 346 balls.
Resuming this morning at 283-3, Australia added 71 runs for the loss of two wickets before lunch in what was the most even session of the third Test so far.
With AP Inputs