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Marnus Labuschagne achieved its first ODI century and triple the numbers against his native South Africa on Saturday.
It was a special milestone for several reasons, including the fact that there was an inning after the first ball was released in the second ODI.
However, no reason was more special than the fact that about 50 of Labuschagne’s relatives – who traveled for hours to watch his golden duck – were in the proudly bursting Potchefstroom stands.
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Labuschagne grew up in Klerksdorp, just 40 minutes from the ground. As a child, he regularly attended games and chased players’ signatures before leaving at the age of nine.
On Saturday during the third ODI, children chased his autograph when he achieved a run-a-ball century in just his sixth ODI appearance.
Labuschagne ran just under two to reach the milestone and started an emphatic celebration that was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
“It was amazing, I can’t describe it any other way,” said Labuschagne about the moment after the innings that ended in 108.
“When I did it, I didn’t think about what I would do, but I continued a bit, I looked like a goose.
“Having 50 of my family from all of South Africa here was very special.”
Despite the special homecoming, Labuschagne spoke without a doubt when asked if it was “strange” to play for Australia in South Africa.
“I went so young. I love representing Australia, it’s my country, ”said Labuschagne.
“I was born in South Africa and there is a little point in my heart for the country, but I’m thoroughly Australian.”
A late riot from Labuschagne helped Australia play 7-254 in the series it lost after the second game.