Ashes 2019: Labuschagne suffers nasty blow after becoming first concussion sub

By Sports Desk August 18, 2019

Marnus Labuschagne endured a torrid start to his innings after becoming the first concussion substitute in Test history at Lord's

The right-handed batsman, standing in for Steve Smith, was hit on the helmet by a rapid bouncer from Jofra Archer, the ball rocketing flush into the grille, after Australia were set 267 to win the game and go 2-0 up in the series.

Labuschagne received treatment on the field but was able to continue his innings, reaching 17 not out as the tourists were 46-2 at tea.

Cameron Bancroft was the other unbeaten batsman on 16 after Archer had dismissed David Warner and Usman Khawaja, both left-handers edging behind during a fiery opening spell from the paceman.

Labuschagne was only featuring on the fifth day after being cleared to play as a replacement for Smith – ruled out for the remainder of the second match of the series due to a delayed concussion.

Smith was struck on the neck by a short ball from debutant Archer during Saturday's play and initially retired hurt.

While he did return to the middle to continue his innings after passing the required tests, eventually being dismissed for 92, the former captain woke up with "a bit of a headache and a feeling of grogginess" on Sunday, according to a statement from Cricket Australia.

Labuschagne's first involvement in the game was in the field, though his leg-spin bowling was not called upon as England made it to 258-5 before declaring during the afternoon session.

Ben Stokes finished up unbeaten on 115 – his seventh Test hundred – as the hosts left their opponents 48 overs to win a match hampered by rain.

Australia's immediate concern was on making sure they retained their advantage ahead of the third Test at Headingley next week – a task that quickly became tougher when they lost two early wickets.

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