Aus dominates Day 1 of WTC Final with Head's century and Smith's fifty
Date: June 7, 2023
Australia's Travis Head played a brilliant innings, scoring a century off just 106 balls, while Steve Smith completed a well-deserved half-century, as Australia took complete control on Day 1 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India at The Oval.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Australia started the day on a strong note as Indian speedster Mohammed Siraj dismissed Usman Khawaja for a duck in the first session. Opener David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne then held the fort, adding 69 runs for the second wicket before Warner fell for 43 runs.
In the second session, Labuschagne was also dismissed by Mohammed Shami. However, Smith and Head joined forces to rescue Australia from a tricky situation, with the team reduced to 76/3. The duo stitched together a crucial partnership of 251 runs off 370 balls, guiding Australia to a commanding total of 327/3 in 85 overs by the end of Day 1.
Travis Head's century was particularly remarkable as he became the first batter to score a century in the WTC final. His knock of 146 off just 156 balls included 17 fours and a six. Steve Smith played a patient innings, scoring 95 runs off 227 balls, with 11 boundaries to his name. Smith will resume his innings on Day 2, looking to reach the milestone of a century.
The Indian bowlers struggled to make breakthroughs as the partnership between Head and Smith continued to flourish. Despite some tight overs from the Indian bowlers, the Australian batsmen managed to find boundaries at regular intervals, putting the pressure on the Indian team.
India will be hoping to bounce back on Day 2 and break the partnership early to restrict Australia's first innings total. The new ball is available, and it remains to be seen if India decides to take it and bring a change in the bowling attack.
At the close of play on Day 1, Australia holds the upper hand with a dominant position in the WTC final. India will need early wickets on Day 2 to claw their way back into the game.
The match has also seen some light-hearted banter and commentary from former cricketers and experts, adding to the excitement of the final.
Overall, it was a day dominated by Australia's batsmen, especially Travis Head, who played an exceptional innings to put his team in a commanding position. The stage is set for an intriguing battle on Day 2 as India looks to make a comeback in the WTC final.