Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Labuschagne adds maiden Test ton to Ashes heroics
The in-form Queenslander was right at home at the Gabba on day three, posting three figures and celebrating the moment with a fist pump
Adam Burnett at the Gabba
23 November 2019, 12:39 PM AEST
Queenslander Marnus Labuschagne required just a single innings to add the one item missing from his breakthrough Ashes series, peeling off a classy maiden Test hundred on day three of the first Domain Test at the Gabba.
The Australian looked in excellent touch from the outset of his innings midway through Friday's final session, cruising to an untroubled 55 at the close – his second half-century from as many attempts at his home venue.
He upped the tempo on the third morning in Brisbane, unfurling a pair of sumptuous drives from Shaheen Afridi in the day's fourth over as his partnership with David Warner passed 100.
The pair must be among the quickest between the wickets in world cricket and they used that turn of feet to scamper hurried singles and turn ones into twos.
For the first 40 minutes of the day, 30 of the 31 runs scored came from the bat of Labuschagne and before anyone had blinked he had moved beyond his previous Test best of 81.
He greeted Yasir Shah's arrival at the crease with a delightful drive wide of cover then moved into the nineties with an unorthodox flick through midwicket from the leg-spinner that raced to the long boundary.
It was at that point that his progress was stalled, with the wickets of Warner and Steve Smith bookending a slight scare for Labuschagne, who was given out lbw to Yasir only for the batsman's confident review to reveal a thick inside edge.
A short while later the moment arrived via an edge through a stacked slips cordon that ran away for four. Labuschagne immediately pumped and shook his fist before embracing Matthew Wade and acknowledging the crowd, bat and helmet held aloft and smile spread broadly across his face as he joined Travis Head and Kurtis Patterson as Australia's maiden Test century-makers in 2019.
In the lead-up to the Gabba Test, Labuschagne had reflected on the 81 he made in his only other Test outing at the venue. It was an innings that proved instructive for him as he found his feet at the elite level, and again during today's performance against Pakistan.
"That was my first Test fifty," the 25-year-old told cricket.com.au. "Being able to trust my process, having played at the Gabba a lot and knowing I could trust my leave and just lock in (for the long haul).
"I remember really just trusting that I've played enough games at the Gabba to know that the scoring rate does turn once you get in.
"After tea, especially on day two, that's where you can really hurt the opposition if you can get there as a batting unit.
"It was a good innings but it was disappointing to get out because that's one I look back at and think it was triple figures definitely wasted."
Almost 10 months on, in front of a set of home fans who are increasingly come to appreciate the talents of this blossoming No.3, he had no such concerns.
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba (Seven, Fox & Kayo)