All of Australia had a chuckle at Marnus Labuschagne’s expense after his ugly dismissal on Day 1 in Hobart. But one legend wasn’t laughing.
Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.
After being sent in to bat on a tricky pitch at Blundstone Arena, Australia was in all sorts at 3/12 and England was well and truly on top.
But a sensational counterattacking century from Travis Head, as well as solid knocks from Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, shifted the momentum back in Australia’s favour and snuffed out hope for England.
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The Aussies finished Day 1 on 6/241 with Alex Carey (10) and Mitchell Starc (0) at the crease, and will be looking to push the total beyond 250 and take the game out of England’s reach.
Play is due to get underway at 2.30pm (AEDT) but rain could be a factor on Day 2, with some showers predicted for Hobart.
Why Ricky Ponting isn’t laughing at ‘embarrassed’ Marnus
When Marnus Labuschagne was clean bowled by Stuart Broad on Day 1, it seemed everyone in Australia was laughing — except one man.
The Aussie No. 3 exposed all his stumps in an attempt to hit Broad to the leg side, but he somehow managed to trip over his own feet and land flat on his face while offering no protection whatsoever to his stumps.
The sight of Labuschagne lying on the pitch with the zing bails flying amused his teammates Steve Smith and Pat Cummins but was enough to make one of Australia’s greatest ever batters wince.
Ricky Ponting was sympathetic to Labuschagne and said he will be more “embarrassed” about the nature of his dismissal than getting out.
“Unfortunately when he went to move his feet, he missed his spikes and missed the outside of his boot and sort of stretched out further than he wanted to and got into a position where it was impossible for him to actually hit the ball,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“He’ll be embarrassed about getting out but having been there before — I’ve ended up on my face in a Test match — picking yourself up off the wicket to get off the ground is not a place where you want to be.”
The former Australian skipper also fell flat on his face after being bowled in the twilight of his career.
Facing legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis in Adelaide in 2012, Ponting completely missed the ball and lost his footing — falling forward on to the pitch as the ball cannoned into his stumps.
Many pundits cite that dismissal as the moment they knew Ponting had lost his touch at the top level. He retired from Test cricket later in the series.
Ponting said he genuinely felt for Labuschagne, but was relieved his co-commentators haven’t yet dug his similarly ugly dismissal out from the archives for a stitch up.
“You saw (Steve) Smithy and (Pat) Cummins having a bit of a laugh about it,” he said.
“I don’t think Marnus will be having much of a laugh about it tonight when he sees it probably for the 100th time.
“I haven’t laughed at it yet. I’m not going to laugh at it yet either. I’ve actually been waiting all day to get stitched up in comms about it because when it happened a few people waiting for me to acknowledge that it happened.
“I didn’t say anything but I’ve just been waiting for a replay to pop up at some stage. It hasn’t yet. I’m not to bring it up anymore but yeah, you don’t see it too often.
“Trust me, the shot at your dignity when you get out in the first place and when you’ve got to actually get up and walk off the field, it’s not a fun place to be.”