Wednesday, June 07, 2023
Travis Head and Steve Smith persevered as they helped Australia end day one on a dominant note against India on first day's play of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval.
After deciding to field first, Indian bowlers dominated the first session, reducing the Aussies to 73-2 before Lunch.
Mohammad Siraj started the proceedings for India, who were playing WTC final for the second time in a row, by bagging Usman Khawaja in the fourth over of the first innings.
Khawaja tried to pull the ball on leg side but edged it behind the stumps Srikar Bharat taking a wonderful catch while diving on his right. The left-handed opener departed for naught after playing 10 balls.
David Warner, who hinted at possible Test retirement two days ago, managed to score 43 including eight boundaries. He was removed by Shardul Thakur.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith fought in last moments of the first session.
On their return, India once again struck quickly, this time it was experienced Mohammad Shami. The right-arm pacer deceived Labuschagne and provided a priced breakthrough to India.
Later on, Head and Smith continued with solid momentum-building partnership. The two batters showed patience and scored worthy runs for Australia.
Meanwhile, Head brought up his sixth Test hundred, piling up 146 runs at stumps on the opening day. Smith, who supported Head strongly on the other end, remained not out for 95 runs.
At stumps, Australia were 327-3 in 85 overs.