Dubai: Australian opener David Warner batted with vengeance to crack an unbeaten 335 against Pakistan in the second Test of the ICC World Test Championship at Adelaide to prove to his critics wrong.
Warner looked far removed from the man, who in the 2019 Ashes series, had struggled for runs with scores of 2 & 8, 3 & 5, 61 & 0, 0 & 0 and 5 & 11 for a total of just 95 runs from 10 innings.
Warner’s knock of 155 in the first Test of this series at Brisbane against Pakistan was a warning from him that he is back in form.
It was also a payback time from him to his selectors who kept the faith in his skills that have entertained fans around the world through his wide repertoire of strokes.
The left-hander has always displayed his ability to dominate the best of bowlers and that happened in the second Test during the course of his triple century too.
It resulted in leg spinner Yasir Shah finishing with humiliating figures of 32 overs for 197 runs with no wicket!
Warner and his colleague Steve Smith, by piling up runs, keep reminding fans of many a great knock the cricket world may have missed during their one-year ban in 2018 due to ball-tampering scandal. While Warner was sailing towards his triple century, Smith became the fastest man to record 7,000 runs in Test cricket, shattering a record that had stood since 1946.
Smith reached the milestone to take possession of a record held for 73 years by English great Wally Hammond, who took 131 innings to reach 7000 runs, while Smith reached the mark in 126 innings. Smith also has moved past Donald Bradman to become Australia’s 11th highest scorer.
Warner also broke Bradman’s record of 299 runs, scored against South Africa in 1931-32 for the highest Test score at the Adelaide Oval, and also overhaul Bradman’s highest Test score of 334 when Australia declared their innings at 589 for three on second day of the Test. His 335 was the 10th highest ever in Test cricket, second to former Australian opener Matt Hayden, who scored 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.
For Warner, who held his head down in shame during the ban, walked away from the ground on Saturday with head held high as his teammates gave him a guard of honour near the boundary line. He was returning after his unbeaten, 418-ball knock which contained 39 boundaries and a six. When he hit that lone six at his score on 302, he surpassed Azhar Ali’s record for the highest score in a day-night Test match.
Warner, who turned 33 just 34 days ago, had hit 100 not out, 60 not out, 57 not out, 20 and 48 not out in six Twenty20 internationals before this Test series. The run-flow from his bat seems unstoppable now.
All-time high Test scores
400 — Brian Lara (WIS), West Indies vs England, St John’s, 2004
380 — Matthew Hayden (AUS), Australia vs Zimbabwe, Perth, 2003
375 — Brian Lara (WIS), West Indies vs England, St John’s, 1994
374 — M. Jayawardene (SRI), Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Colombo, 2006
365 — Gary Sobers (WIS), West Indies vs Pakistan, Kingston, 1958
364 — Len Hutton (ENG), England vs Australia, The Oval, 1938
340 — Sanath Jayasuriya (SRI), Sri Lanka vs India, Colombo, 1997
337 — Hanif Mohammad (PAK), Pakistan vs West Indies, Bridgetown, 1958
336 — Wally Hammond (ENG), England vs New Zealand, Auckland, 1933
335 — David Warner (AUS), Australia vs Pakistan, Adelaide, 2019