Smith, Labuschagne hit double centuries
PERTH, DEC 1: Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne struck masterful double centuries on Thursday to put Australia in firm control against an outclassed West Indies, who face an uphill task to save the first Test at Perth Stadium.
The hosts declared at an ominous 598-4 soon after tea on day two, allowing Smith, who matched legendary countryman Donald Bradman with a 29th Test ton, to complete the 200-run milestone for the fourth time.
Labuschagne made 204 with Smith not out 200. Travis Head chipped in with a run-a-ball 99 to put a massive dent in any hope the West Indies had of winning their first Test in Australia in 25 years. The visitors needed to negotiate 25 overs before stumps and it was a fiery affair, with openers Kraigg Brathwaite and debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul -- son of West Indies great Shivnarine -- taking nasty blows to the groin and body.
But they defiantly clung on to get to the close on 74-0, 524 runs adrift. An impressive Chanderpaul was 47 with Brathwaite on 18.
Labuschagne and Head were the only wickets to fall on a demoralising day for the West Indies bowlers, who were lacklustre and created few clear-cut chances.
After beginning the day on 154, Labuschagne was out just before lunch to end a mammoth 350-ball knock, caught by wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva after getting an edge from Brathwaite's bowling. -AFP