SYDNEY – Marnus Labuschagne scored his fourth century in five matches as Australia dominated a New Zealand side ravaged by illness and missing captain Kane Williamson to reach 283 for three on the first day of the third and final test on Friday.
With the series already lost after heavy defeats in Perth and Melbourne, the Black Caps were rocked when Williamson, batsman Henry Nicholl and spinner Mitchell Santner were ruled out of the match by a flu virus.
Australia had never needed an invitation to plunder runs over this series and the makeshift New Zealand attack was duly put to the sword on a mostly sunny day when the smoke from the bushfires stayed away from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Labuschagne looked immovable as he hit a magnificent 130 not out to add to the innings of 185 and 162 he registered against Pakistan in November and the 143 he scored against New Zealand in the first test.
The 25-year-old piled on the runs in a third-wicket partnership of 156 with Steve Smith (63) and will resume on Saturday with Matthew Wade, who had scored 22 not out off 30 balls by the close of play.