Australia's David Warner in action against Sri Lanka in Dubai
Australia's David Warner in action. Image Credit: ANI

Dubai: When David Warner was carting bowlers all over the park, picking his spots and hitting them at will the words of Glenn Maxwell echoed in my mind. “Write off [David] Warner at your own peril,” the Australian all-rounder said in defence of the opener who was yet to find his feet on the UAE wickets.

Almost three weeks down the line, Warner proved why he is one of the most destructive batters in world cricket today. Chasing a below-par 158 against the West Indies, the Australian left-hander was hitting boundaries and sixes at will, giving bowlers no clue what was happening.

There are no two ways about him, either he will be a treat to watch or he will watch the action from the pavilion. Nothing in between.

Better run rate

In reality Warner was repaying the West Indians by their own coin. In the end, the value of the knock grew many multiples as they booked the spot in the semi-finals on better run rate. The comfortable eight-wicket win with 3.4 overs to spare put the South Africans in a spot of bother.

In the end the Proteas needed to win by a margin of at least 58 runs, and that was not to be against table-toppers England.

Warner returned to the form with the blistering knock of unbeaten 89 off 56 balls. The left-hander got good support from Mitchell Marsh and the pair did not put a foot wrong until the team neared the target.

Once he gets his confidence Warner can do magic with his bat. Just to illustrate an incident, Dwayne Bravo, seeing the batter ready for switch-hit bowled a slower delivery. In response Warner used his footwork to step out and still hit the West Indian all-rounder for a boundary.

May be all the dance moves that he practised for Instagram helped him!

Finally, Chris Gayle broke the partnership with the scores were level, ending Marsh’s stay after the all-rounder hit the ball straight to Jason Holder at mid-off.

Fans entertained

It’s not just about intense cricket, there was lot of camaraderie among the two teams. West Indies might have disappointed the fans by losing their last match, finishing with lone win in five games. But they still kept their fans entertained.

In a send-off for two of the game’s greats the Australians held a guard of honour for Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo.

Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa proved their skills by restricting the West Indian batters from running up big scores on a wicket that played true till the end, allowing enough freedom to the batters to play their shots at will. Most of the West Indian batters got their starts, but could not convert them into big scores, thanks to Hazlewood striking at regular intervals and Zampa bowling a tight line and length.