Labuschagne hits ton amid England concern for Robinson

·3-min read

Australia's batters are savouring prolific warm-ups as Test duty looms, with Marnus Labuschagne the latest to flex his muscles with a handsome county hundred.

After Steve Smith's best score for Sussex on Friday and Marcus Harris compiling a couple of half-centuries in successive days, there was nothing more reassuring for Australia with the World Test final and the Ashes round the corner than a Marnus masterclass.

Hammering his second first-class century in three matches for Glamorgan, Labuschagne's superb 138 led a fightback for the Welsh county which could leave his pal Smith facing an awkward final day at Hove on Sunday.

But if it was an encouraging Saturday for Australian hopes, there was much more concern for England when their in-form fast bowler Ollie Robinson failed to take the field after lunch for Sussex, suffering from a sore left ankle.

Sussex coach Paul Farbrace reported later: "Ollie has a sore left ankle and he will be scanned on Monday to see how bad he is. We knew it was sore yesterday."

On Thursday, Robinson had dismissed Labuschagne with the first ball he'd bowled at him and went on to look mightily impressive with a four-wicket haul.

Yet on Saturday, with the crowd expecting a fierce rematch with Labuschagne who had battled to 15 not out overnight, Robinson didn't look at his sharpest in an eight-over stint in the morning, failing to take a wicket, and then didn't appear after the lunch interval.

"We'll find out what the issue is on Monday," said Farbrace.

"It was precautionary. There was no point in making it worse."

It certainly made life easier for Labuschagne, who enjoyed his rearguard action, batting for 244 balls over nearly five-and-a-half hours as he compiled yet another Glamorgan hundred, decorated with 16 fours and four sixes.

He had the perfect accomplice in Glamorgan skipper Kiran Carlson, who put on a 288-run partnership for the fourth wicket with the Australian and went on to make an unbeaten 187, to leave his side 141 ahead with five wickets still standing.

It's left the tantalising prospect of Smith getting the chance of a potential match-winning - or match-saving - knock on the final day.

Both the senior players' form, though, is a boon for Australia. Since arriving in Britain at his Welsh "home-from-home", Labuschagne has now scored 380 in his last six innings at an average of 76.

Harris is also thriving. Further pressing his claims to be in the team to face India in the world Test at The Oval next month, the left-hander held up Durham's victory charge at Bristol with his second stubborn half-century of the match.

After his 52 first time around, Harris again showed most resistance in Gloucestershire's second knock, ending the day 71 not out after a three-hour vigil in a total of 6-181.

It's highly unlikely that he can steer the home side to victory, as they still need another 245 to win, but he'd like to finish another successful spell with Gloucester by scoring his second century of the summer.

The evergreen Peter Siddle chipped in with three second-innings wickets for Somerset to help them beat Middlesex by an innings and 13 runs at Lord's.

Sean Abbott also completed a successful match for first division leaders and reigning champions Surrey, finishing with 2-17 to help them to a 10-wicket win over Kent at the Oval.

With PA