Ever since replacing Steve Smith as his “concussion substitute”, Labuschagne has given England a headache by scoring four consecutive fifties. But on Saturday, England finally dismissed him under 50, and Stuart Broad made sure he let the Australian know by waving him goodbye on his way back.
Much to everyone’s surprise, for the majority of this Ashes, verbal spats, send-offs, and sledging have been few and far between. Both sides have displayed utmost professionalism in the way they’ve gone about their business and if anything, they’ve actually enjoyed good and friendly banter between themselves while they’ve been at it.
However, things flared up a bit on the eve of Day 4, adding more spice to the contest. As Australia were looking to stretch their lead and move toward declaration, a fiery Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad bowled a rampant and imperious spell with the new-ball to peg the Aussies back. And while they were at it, the duo, for the first time in the series, decided to dish out a few verbal rockets.
At the end of each delivery, Archer made sure that he gave an earful to the batsman who was on strike, in an attempt to get under his skin. The ploy did pay dividends for England, as on the third ball of the 10th over, Archer trapped Labuschagne plumb in front of the stumps. This was also subsequently the first time England had dismissed Labuschagne under 50 in the series, after the Queeslander had put up scores of 59, 74, 80, and 67 in the four innings that preceded.
As the Australian was on his way back, the English team mumbled some not-so-nice words to him, letting him know about the dismissal. However, the star of the show was Broad, who waved goodbye to Labuschagne as he walked back to the pavilion. The Australian then spat out his chewing gum and smashed it with the bat in frustration as he headed back to the dressing room.