Boxing Day Test, Day 2: David Warner proved his naysayers wrong as he completed a special double hundred in his 100th Test. Warner’s heroics helped Austalia take a 197-run lead as the hosts headed to Stumps at 386 for 3.
- David Warner’s double hundred helped Australia head to Stumps at 386 for 3
- Australia lead South Africa by 197 runs in the Boxing Day Test
- Steve Smith missed a Test hundred by just 15 runs on Day 2
It was David Warner’s day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The veteran Australian opener, who was written off after twin failures in the Brisbane Test, showcased nerves of steel as he proved his naysayers wrong with a stunning double hundred that helped the hosts take control of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa on Tuesday.
David Warner rattled off 16 boundaries and 2 sixes as he battle the harsh heat in Melbourne on Tuesday. Warner became only the 2nd man after Joe Root to hit a double hundred in his 100th Test as the 36-year-old proved that there is plenty of cricket left in him.
Warner’s double hundred and Steve Smith’s solid 85 helped Australia post 386 for 3, leading South Africa’s first-innings score of 189 by 197 runs. Travis Head was on fire as well, hitting a run-a-ball 48 and remaining unbeaten as Australia extended their dominance over South Africa, who have looked hapless on this tour.
The MCG crowd erupted in joy when David Warner completed his hundred, his first in nearly 3 years in Test cricket. A couple of hours later, Warner got the crowd up on its feet once again as he brought up his double hundred, his 3rd in the longest format of the game. Baked in 37 degrees Celsius, Warner ran hard between wickets for his runs as she showcased the hunger that has propelled him to become one of the greatest in the game.
Warner was spent after he completed his celebrations following the double hundred as he was cramping up. The physios helped him off the field as the star opener retired hurt right after getting to the milestone.
Warner got only 76 of his 200 through boundaries as he made full use of the big dimensions of the MCG to put the South African attack to the sword. Through the course of his knock, Warner also became the 8th Australian batter to complete 8,000 runs in Tests.
‘WRITING HIM OFF WRONG THING’
Questions were asked about Warner’s place in the Australian Test side after he managed just 3 runs in the Gabba Test which ended inside 2 days after 34 wickets fell in 2 sessions. Warner had headed into the series after facing off-field controversy over his leadership ban. Warner had applied to revoke his leadership ban, but pulled his bid, fearing it would mean having to publicly relive the ball-tampering scandal of 2018.
Warner, however, proved his naysayers wrong. He started off briskly in the final session on Day 1, getting to 32 not out at Stumps. There was no looking back on Tuesday morning as Warner punished the South African bowling attack which looked flat on a good batting pitch in Melbourne.
“For him to be able to do it while his back is against the wall means even more,” Warner’s wife, who was at the stands at the MCG, told Fox Cricket.
“You’d think by now writing David off is probably the wrong thing to do. He thrives on that.”
Smith missed his 30th Test ton by just 15 runs but the former captain joined hands with his former deputy to stitch 239 runs for the 3rd wicket after Marnus Labuschagne was run-out for 14.
Australia have a few injury concerns to deal with as Cameron Green retired hurt with a finger injury right after Warner limped off the field. Australia would want Green to be fit to return to bowl in the second innings as the IPL 2023 auction star had picked up his maiden 5-wicket Test haul in the first innings. There was an injury scare on Monday to Mitchell Starc as well.
Australia are leading the Test series 1-0 and are well-set to complete a whitewash of South Africa and soldify their chance of reaching the World Test Championship final.