Labuschagne hits century on return to roots
Australia's batsman Marnus Labuschagne hits a ball during the 3rd ODI against South Africa at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. AFP
Australia's Marnus Labuschagne hit a maiden one-day international century on his return to his South African roots in the third and final one-day clash on Saturday.
Applauded by a large group of his South African family at Senwes Park, Labuschagne made 108 in an Australian total of 254 for seven after they were sent in to bat.
Labuschagne was born in Klerksdorp, 50km away, and started school in Potchefstroom before his family moved to Australia when he was nine years old. He said it was "very special" to score a century so close to the town where he was born. "I carried on like a bit of a goose," he told SuperSport television of his emotional celebration on reaching his hundred, "but it was amazing. I have 50 of my family members out there from all over South Africa."
But he was quick to add there were no divided loyalties. "I left so young, I love Australia, it's my country," he said. "Although I was born in South Africa and there's a little spot in my heart for the country, I'm Australian through and through."
With South Africa having already clinched the series, Australia were facing a series whitewash at 55 for three before Labuschagne, with help from D'Arcy Short (36), Mitchell Marsh (32) and Jhye Richardson (24 not out), rebuilt the innings. Labuschagne and Richardson put on 64 for the seventh wicket off 45 balls to give the innings late impetus.
Labuschagne made 108 off 108 balls with eight fours before being bowled by Anrich Nortje off the penultimate delivery of the innings, going for a big hit.
Australia: 254-7 in 50 overs (M. Labuschagne 108, D. Short 36, M. Marsh 32; A. Nortje 2-35, J. Smuts 2-42).
Match situation: South Africa need 255 runs to win
Toss: South Africa