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WTC Final: Australia survive fiery Indian pace onslaught, post 73/2 (Day 1, Lunch)
London: There was an even contest between the bat and ball as both India and Australia had their moments in the first session of the World Test Championship 2023 final at the Oval in London on Wednesday.
At Lunch, Australia were 73/2 (23) with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith holding fort for the Baggy Greens at their individual scores of 26(61)* and 2(7)* respectively. India managed to strike early after sending down a couple of maiden overs back-to-back. Australia opened their account with a double from David Warner on the 16th ball of their innings.
With the pressure building on the Australian openers to keep the scoreboard ticking over, Usman Khawaja fell for a 10-ball duck, nicking one off Mohammed Siraj to wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat.
Siraj got one to move slightly away from the southpaw and Bharat managed to latch onto a regulation offering.
Marnus Labuschagne arrived at the crease at No.3 and went about settling Aussie nerves in the dressing room in the company of Warner.
The duo of Siraj and Shami kept, however, kept Warner and Labuschangne on a leash, bowling precise lines and lengths with occasional bumpers.
Australia managed to reach the 50-run mark in 14.5 overs.
Warner, however, took the pressure off Australian batters in the 16th over, taking 16 runs off Umesh Yadav. The veteran India pacer conceded four boundaries in a single over, with the Aussies getting some much-needed momentum into their innings.
Labuschagne survived a couple of confident LBW shouts from the Indians and soaked in all the pressure that was brought to bear on them.
Warner was in sight of another half-century when all-rounder Shardul Thakur induced an edge off his willow, which was safely lapped up by stumper Bharat. Warner's promising innings was cut short at 43 off 60 balls.
Steve Smith managed to negotiate the final few deliveries leading into lunch.
Brief Scores: Australia (David Warner 43(60), Marnus Labuschagne 26(61)* and Shardul Thakur 1/16) vs India. (ANI)