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Labuschagne stands firm, Pakistan pick three wickets on the first day of Boxing Day Test

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MELBOURNE: Marnus Labuschagne remained unbeaten on 44 as Australia scored 187-3 against Pakistan on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday.

The second Test was interrupted by rain in the latter half of the day, consequently allowing only 66 overs of play.

Australian batters Marnus Labuschagne (44) and Travis Head (9) will resume the batting against Pakistan on the second day.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan captain Shan Masood opted to bowl first when the coin flipped in his favour, citing the weather and conditions at MCG as the reason for his decision.

Australia managed to score 90-1 in the first session on the first day of Boxing Day Test on the back of a solid opening partnership between Usman Khawaja and David Warner.

The 90-run partnership was broken at the stroke of lunch as Warner was caught by Babar Azam off Salman Ali Agha after being dropped earlier by Abdullah Shafique.

Warned played an innings of 38 off 83 with three boundaries.

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Australia could only add 23 runs from 15 overs in the second session before rain interruption halted the play, while Pakistan removed Usman Khawaja, who was caught by Salman Ali Agha in slips on Hasan Ali’s bowling.

Khawaja scored 42 runs from 101 balls with five boundaries.

The rain prompted umpires to take an early Tea break with the scoreboard reading 114-2.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith resumed their innings in the last session as they added 46 runs for the third wicket before the latter was dismissed.

Smith was caught behind off Aamer Jamal after scoring 26 runs.

Travis Head then joined Labuschagne and together they took Australia’s total to 187-3 at the end of the first day’s play during the Boxing Day Test.

Playing XIs

Australia

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan

Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (capt), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamer Jamal

READ: Afghanistan sanction three players over request to opt out of central contract

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