ADELAIDE: An irrepressible David Warner smashed an unbeaten 335 on Saturday while Steve Smith became the fastest man to 7,000 Test runs as Australia took control of the day-night second Test against Pakistan.
Skipper Tim Paine waved his players back into the pavilion at 589 for three ahead of the second day’s dinner break with Warner on the 10th highest Test score ever, also a personal best.
The decision to declare deprived him of a crack at Brian Lara’s all-time high 400 not out, but it proved to be the right one with the Australian bowlers quickly tearing through Pakistan’s hapless top order under the Adelaide Oval lights.
They finished in deep trouble at 96 for six with Mitchell Starc grabbing four of them.
Babar Azam was not out 43 and Yasir Shah was on four.
“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,” said Warner on making such a big score. “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.
The visitors, who have lost 13 consecutive Tests in Australia, enjoyed little success in a long day in the field as they look to avoid a 2-0 series defeat.
But they did remove Marnus Labuschagne for 162 in the opening session and also bagged Smith, caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan off Shaheen Afridi for 36.
In making his runs, Smith shattered a record that had stood since 1946.
He took a single off Mohammad Musa to reach 7,000 runs in his 126th innings, taking possession of a mark held for 73 years by English great Wally Hammond who reached the milestone in his 131st innings.
Smith also moved past legendary countryman Donald Bradman’s 6,996 Test runs to become Australia’s 11th highest scorer.
In an insight into Smith’s determination to be the best, he said after missing out in Brisbane that he punishes himself when the runs do not flow.
“I always punish myself when I get no runs, just like I reward myself when I score runs with a chocolate bar at the end of the night if I get a hundred,” he said.
“So yeah, if I get no runs I always like to have a run or go to the gym or do something just to give myself a bit of a punishment.”
The home team resumed the day at 302 for one with Warner on 166 and Labuschagne 126, with the pair putting on another 67 runs before Pakistan finally got a breakthrough.
Skipper Azhar Ali took the new ball and Shaheen clean-bowled Labuschagne as he attempted a drive, just as he and Warner appeared set for another long day at the crease.
The 25-year-old, who has come of age during the series, trudged off to a standing ovation after a classy 162, his second century in a row.
Their marathon 361-run partnership was a record second-wicket stand for Australia against Pakistan and the highest ever in a pink-ball Test.
Minutes later, Warner completed only the second Test double century of his career. Playing in his 81st Test, he reached 200 with a single from Shaheen, having clattered 23 fours along the way.
Pakistan thought they finally had him out on 226 when he was caught in the gully off debutant Musa, only for their heads to drop when it was called a no-ball.
Warner made them pay, passing his previous highest Test score of 253, set in Perth in 2015, before reaching a triple century off 389 balls to join an elite club.
He raced to 335, one more than former captain Mark Taylor’s epic 334 against Pakistan in 1998 and Donald Bradman’s 334 against England in 1930, before Paine decided to unleash his bowlers, conscious that rain is forecast for the next two days.
Exhausted, Warner was given a hero’s send off by the crowd with his knock the second best ever by an Australian after Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.
Matthew Wade remained unbeaten on 38.
Facing a tough last session under lights, Pakistan’s batsmen quickly caved in.
Starc removed Imam-ul-Haq, who got a thick edge to Warner on two, before Pat Cummins had Azhar caught for nine.
Josh Hazlewood accounted for Shan Masood before Starc nabbed Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan cheaply.
AUSTRALIA (1st Innings, overnight 302-1):
D.A. Warner not out 335
J.A. Burns c Rizwan b Shaheen 4
M. Labuschagne b Shaheen 162
S.P.D. Smith c Rizwan b Shaheen 36
M.S. Wade not out 38
EXTRAS (LB-6, W-1, NB-7) 14
TOTAL (for 3 wkts decl, 127 overs) 589
FALL OF WKTS: 1-8, 2-369, 3-490.
DID NOT BAT: T.M. Head, T.D. Paine, P.J. Cummins, M.A. Starc, N.M. Lyon, J.R. Hazlewood.
BOWLING: Mohammad Abbas
29-7-100-0; Shaheen Shah Afridi 30-5-88-3; Mohammad Musa 20-1-114-0; Yasir Shah 32-1-197-0; Iftikhar Ahmed 15-0-75-0; Azhar Ali 1-0-9-0.
PAKISTAN (1st innings):
Shan Masood c Paine b Hazlewood 19
Imam-ul-Haq c Warner b Starc 2
Azhar Ali c Smith b Cummins 9
Babar Azam not out 43
Asad Shafiq c Paine b Starc 9
Iftikar Ahmed c Paine b Starc 10
Mohammad Rizwan c Paine b Starc 0
Yasir Shah not out 4
TOTAL (for six wkts, 35 overs) 96
FALL OF WKTS: 1-3, 2-22, 3-38, 4-69, 5-89, 6-89.
TO BAT: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Musa, Mohammad Abbas
BOWLING (to-date): Starc 13-5-22-4; Cummins 14-1-45-1; Hazlewood 8-2-29-1.
Top 10 individual Test knocks
400* — Brian Lara West Indies vs England St John’s (ARG) 2004
380 — Matthew Hayden Australia vs Zimbabwe Perth (WACA) 2003
375 — Brian Lara West Indies vs England St John’s (ARG) 1994
374 — Mahela Jayawardene Sri Lanka vs South Africa Colombo (SSC) 2006
365* — Gary Sobers West Indies vs Pakistan Kingston 1958
364 — Len Hutton England vs Australia The Oval 1938
340 —Sanath Jayasuriya Sri Lanka vs India Colombo (RPS) 1997
337 — Hanif Mohammad Pakistan vs West Indies Bridgetown 1958
336 — Wally Hammond England vs New Zealand Auckland 1933
335* — David Warner Australia vs Pakistan Adelaide 2019
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2019