Steve Smith joins Don Bradman, enters history books with century vs West Indies

Published on Dec 01, 2022 10:57 AM IST

Steve Smith matched Don Bradman's Test century tally on Thursday in the first Test against the West Indies in Perth.

Steve Smith of Australia reacts after getting his century during the 2nd day of the first Test cricket match between Australia and the West Indies at Perth Stadium on December 1 2022. (Photo by COLIN MURTY / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --(AFP)
Steve Smith of Australia reacts after getting his century during the 2nd day of the first Test cricket match between Australia and the West Indies at Perth Stadium on December 1 2022. (Photo by COLIN MURTY / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --(AFP)
AP |

Steve Smith scored an unbeaten 114 to equal Donald Bradman’s 29 test centuries and help Australia tighten its grip on the opening cricket test against the West Indies on Thursday.

Marnus Labuschagne (204) fell to the last ball before lunch on the second day as Australia went into the break on 402-3, ending a 251-run stand for the third wicket.

Labuschagne, who smashed fast bowler Jayden Seales for his 20th boundary to bring up the milestone, fell when he edged offspinner Roston Chase as wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva finally held onto a catch having dropped Labuschagne twice on 132 and 194.

Australia resumed the second day on 293-2 with Labuschagne on 154 and Smith on 59, and the West Indies desperate for a breakthrough in cloudy conditions conducive for swing bowling.

Instead, Labuschagne and Smith continued from where they left off overnight and stubbornly piled up the misery on the tourists, taking the game away with each run.

Smith batted flawlessly to equal the former Australia batting legend Bradman in his 88th test appearance. Only Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32) and Matthew Hayden (30) have scored more hundreds for Australia.

Smith was more circumspect and hit just nine boundaries in his century that came off 179 balls. It was Smith’s second century in the space of three innings following his 145 not out against Sri Lanka in Galle in July this year.

Labuschagne’s double century is his second since his 215 against New Zealand in Sydney in January 2020. He batted for 483 minutes and hit a six and 20 fours of 350 balls.

After losing opener David Warner cheaply on the first morning, Labuschagne partnered opener Usman Khawaja (65) in a 142-run second-wicket stand to set up the innings.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first in the first of two tests. The second test, a day-night game, will be played in Adelaide beginning Dec. 8.

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