Australia pulled off a dominant start to the opening Test of the two-match home series against West Indies today at the Optus Stadium. The hosts concluded the first day’s play with 293 runs on the board losing just two of their batters.
It was Marnus Labuschagne who led the Australian innings and took them to a comfortable position with an unbeaten 270-ball 154 at stumps. Labuschagne was in good rhythm since arriving at the crease after the early dismissal of opener David Warner. But, he faced a real challenge from West Indies pacer Jason Holder in the very first delivery of the 90th over.
The Caribbean pacer bowled a length delivery off the stumps and baffled the batter with an unexpected outswing. Labuschagne was forced by the initial angle to attempt a forward defence. But he had to leave it as the ball curved away to find the keeper’s hands beating the outside edge of his bat.
The near-perfect delivery, bowled pretty slow at 123.7 kph, triggered an epic reaction from Labuschagne. He wasted no time appreciating the effort by Holder. As heard on the stump mic, the right-handed batter, with a wide smile on his face, bantered, “Oh Jason, that is a delicious ball.” The same kind of reactions came from the on-air commentators. They also heaped praise on the bowler for putting the set batter in such a difficult situation.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 30, 2022
A clip of Holder’s stunning delivery has been shared by Cricket Australia on their official Twitter. Undoubtedly, it grabbed the eyeballs of online users in no time and has received over 65,000 views since being dropped. The footage has garnered as many as 4,500 likes on the microblogging site.
Referring to the remark by Labuschagne, a person sarcastically commented, “The commentators can take a break when Marnus is batting. He will do the commentary on your behalf.”
The commentators can take a break when marnus is batting. He will do the commentary on your behalf
— Cricket (@omar2504) November 30, 2022
Another user acknowledged, “That ball deserved a wicket.”
That ball deserved a wicket… Holy Moly. Reminds me of Ambrose and Walsh.
— MrLoudMouth (@kashifzuzu) November 30, 2022
An individual noted, “Marnus is a special character.”
Marnus is a special character
— Fidato (@tequieremos) November 30, 2022
Apart from Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith made notable contributions to the score sheet. While Khawaja departed after registering 65 runs off 149 balls, Smith seemed well-settled.