Facing stress to retain his place in Australia’s group, David Warner defied his critics and heatwave circumstances with a spectacular return to type, scoring a memorable 200 in his 100th test.
Leading the three-match sequence one-nil, Australia had resumed at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday at 45-1 in sunny circumstances in reply to South Africa’s lacklustre first-innings complete of 189.
By stumps, Australia was 386-3, an general lead of 197, with Alex Carey not out on 9 and Travis Head unbeaten on 48.
While Australia is in a robust place, two of the house facet’s tempo bowlers, Mitchell Starc and first-innings hero Cameron Green, are nursing finger accidents forward of South Africa’s second innings.
Steve Smith (85) and Warner (200 retired harm) shared an entertaining third-wicket partnership of 239 runs, as Australia took management of the match in stifling circumstances. Smith’s exit at 314-3 was adopted by Warner’s dramatic departure 15 runs later, retired harm, with the gang of 42,614 on their ft.
England’s Joe Root is the one different participant in test historical past to rating a double century in his 100th test.
Ever the showman, Warner tried to shrug off leg cramps, leaping in the air to have a good time his 200, earlier than instantly buckling on the knees.
Unable to proceed after crunching 16 fours and two sixes in his 254-ball knock in 99-degree Fahrenheit warmth, Warner limped off with medical workers helping him. The 36-year-old opener took the previous couple of steps unassisted earlier than crashing to the turf as quickly as he crossed the boundary rope, trying elated and exhausted.
My again’s up in opposition to the wall but it surely’s in my DNA to preserve being aggressive, Warner mentioned Sunday on the eve of his milestone match.
The feisty left-hander scored his twenty fifth test century and first since January 2020 off 144 deliveries, pulling a brief ball to the leg-side boundary earlier than launching into extravagant celebrations in the post-lunch session Tuesday.
Warner leapt into the air, waved his bat and blew a kiss to the gang.
By tea, Australia held a 42-run benefit at 231-2.
Anrich Nortje lastly ended the third-wicket partnership by eradicating Smith caught at gully at 315-3. The big quick bowler had narrowly escaped critical damage earlier in the day when an overhead Spidercam digicam whizzed previous and collided with him, knocking the fielder to the turf in a weird incident.
Green retired harm for six at 363-3 after he was struck by Nortje on the finger.
South Africa’s bowling assault was additionally unable to full the day as a unit, with tempo bowler Lungi Ngidi leaving the sphere after breaking down with obvious cramp following the primary supply of his sixteenth over.
Earlier, Warner was struck on the helmet on 47 by a bouncer from the fiery Nortje in the seventh over of the day. The opener instantly ripped his helmet off and obtained medical therapy on the sphere earlier than resuming his innings.
Warner was concerned in a mix-up with Marnus Labuschagne who was run out two deliveries later for 14 at 75-2.
Smith and Warner guided Australia to lunch at 136-2, with Warner on 86.
Warner additionally overtook Justin Langer (7,696) and Mark Waugh (8,029) Tuesday to develop into Australia’s seventh-highest test scorer.
Invited to bat first, the spotlight of South Africa’s 189 was a 112-run stand between Kyle Verreynne (52) and tailender Marco Jansen (59) for the sixth wicket. Australia’s all-rounder Green claimed a career-best 5-27.
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