Watch: Jason Holder produced a peach on the last ball of the first day of the first Test match against Australia to beat the bat, earning praise from batter Marnus Labuschagne.
Jayden Seales (1-63) had David Warner playing on for five after Pat Cummins opted to bat in the first Test match of the Frank Worrell Trophy, at the Perth Stadium – a city where, on a different ground, legendary fast bowlers of both sides have bowled memorable hostile spells over the years. However, Usman Khawaja (65) and Labuschagne settled down, adding 142 for the second wicket. Labuschagne soon brought up his eighth Test hundred.
Steve Smith arrived when Kyle Mayers (1-24) had Khawaja caught behind. Kraigg Brathwaite claimed the new ball after 82.1 overs, but the West Indians could not break through. Australia were 291-2, with Labuschagne on 153 and Smith on 58 (his 37th fifty, in addition to 28 hundreds), when Holder (0-29) came to bowl the last over of the day.
Holder’s first ball pitched on off and middle stump and moved away, beating a well-set Labuschagne’s outer edge and settling into the big gloves of Joshua Da Silva. “Oh Jason, that’s a delicious ball,” exclaimed Labuschagne, clearly impressed – a sentiment shared by the commentators on air.
Brilliant that it was, Holder did not get the wicket. Labuschagne defended the next ball and pushed the third ball to deep point to move to 154, his fourth-highest score in Test cricket after his 185, 162, and 215, all of which came between November 2019 and January 2020.
Smith blocked the fourth ball and left the fifth ball alone. Holder rounded off the day with a ball that ran to long-leg off the inside-edge, allowing Smith to reach 59 and Australia 293-2. With Travis Head, Cam Green, and Alex Carey to follow, not to speak of Cummins and Mitchell Starc, Australia are set for a big score.
Watch Holder’s ball here (unmute for Labuschagne’s response)
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 30, 2022