Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Pakistan in deep trouble after David Warner joins elite triple century club in Adelaide Test

Visitors 96-6 after captain Tim Paine declares innings with Australia opener on 335

David Warner celebrates reaching his triple century during Day 2 of the second cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan in Adelaide. AFP
David Warner celebrates reaching his triple century during Day 2 of the second cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan in Adelaide. AFP

Australia batsman David Warner produced the 10th biggest Test score of all time on Saturday, but was denied a shot at the world record when his team declared against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval.

Warner hit an unbeaten 335 off 418 balls during the second match of the ICC World Test Championship series against Pakistan to guide Australia to 589-3.

In reply, Pakistan's fragile batting line-up found the going tough against Australia's pace attack. The visitors were reduced to 96-6 by stumps with Mitchell Starc picking up 4-22.

Babar Azam was batting fluently on 43 but the visitors have a mountain to climb as they still trail Australia's first innings score by 493 runs.

Facing a tough final session under lights, Pakistan's batsmen failed to put up a fight.

Starc removed opener Imam-ul-Haq, who got a thick edge to Warner on two, before Pat Cummins had captain Azhar caught at slip for nine.

Josh Hazlewood got Shan Masood caught behind before Starc accounted for Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan.

Starc had his tail up, getting late swing at 150kph, underlining just how difficult survival is going to be for the Pakistan batsmen.

But the story of the day was Warner. The 33-year-old opener, who struck 39 fours and one six during his knock, was called in by captain Tim Paine 65 runs short of Brian Lara's 2004 record of 400 not out. Warner's innings is the second-highest of any Australia batsman, behind only Matthew Hayden's 380 scored against Zimbabwe in 2003.

"At the moment I'm getting a little bit of luck, which is good," said Warner.

"But it's just being disciplined. As I said yesterday, the last two weeks that I've played I've been very disciplined and I'm very happy with that.

"It's just sunk in to me that it is very rare that you get these opportunities... I'll cherish this moment for the rest of my life, definitely. More importantly, the partnerships we put on. It just showed how much pride we have as a batting unit running between the wickets.

"If I'm doing my job well and putting the team in the best position, we're going to win a lot of games," he added.

On a record-breaking day for Australia, Steve Smith moved past legendary compatriot Donald Bradman's tally of 6,996 Test runs to become Australia's 11th highest scorer during his knock of 36.

Warner brought up his triple century with a boundary off Mohammad Abbas, smashing 37 fours in the near-faultless 389-ball innings. He had been at the crease for nearly nine hours.

His only stroke of luck came on 226 when he was caught in the gully, only for the umpire to call Musa Khan's delivery a no-ball.

Warner is the first player since India's Karun Nair made 303 not out in 2016 against England to reach the magical mark and he joins an elite club of 31 batsmen, including Pakistan captain Ali.

The opener's heroics in Adelaide followed his 154 in the first Test at Brisbane last week – his first Test century since a year-long ban for ball-tampering.

It has been a big turnaround for the former Australian vice-captain, who managed just 95 runs in 10 innings during this year's Ashes series in England.

Warner's knock, combined with Marnus Labuschagne's 162-run innings, has put Australia in firm control of the second Test as the hosts look to clinch the series having won the first match in Brisbane by an innings and five runs.

Updated: November 30, 2019 04:17 PM

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