Under-pressure Warner slams century against Pakistan

Under-pressure warner slams century against pakistan0

In the first Test at Perth, veteran opener David Warner blasted an unbeaten century to quell doubters and lead Australia to 210-2 at tea against an inexperienced Pakistan attack.

The 37-year-old was on 111 at the break, with Steve Smith not out 21.

However, Pakistan’s bowlers were rewarded for their efforts in the scorching heat by dismissing Usman Khawaja for 41 just after lunch, followed by Marnus Labuschagne for 16.

The hosts won the toss and chose to bat first, with Warner padding up under pressure to score runs, his stated goal being an emotional farewell from the five-day game at the third Test in Sydney in front of his hometown crowd.

Former paceman Mitchell Johnson questioned if Warner deserved a hero’s send-off considering his recent poor red-ball form and role in the 2018 ball-tampering incident in the lead-up.

In his 110th Test, the left-hander reacted in typical swashbuckling manner, smashing 15 fours and one massive six in his 149-ball knock.

He hit a bold single off the first ball of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s opening over, which yielded 14 runs, and never looked back.

After playing aggressively on a bouncer, he settled down to reach his half-century off 41 balls with a boundary from Faheem Ashraf.

After lunch, his strike rate slowed as he approached his 26th Test century, achieving three figures off 125 balls with an upper cut boundary off debutant Aamer Jamal, celebrating with his customary leap and soaking in the plaudits.

Khawaja, who was wearing a black armband in solidarity with the people of Gaza, was content to take a back seat.

On 25, he was dropped by Abdullah Shafique, who botched his grab off a mis-hit pull shot.

But he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed off Afridi’s bowling when Pakistan’s bowlers ramped up their game after lunch.

Labuschagne appeared to be in good form, racing to 16 before being beaten by a ball pitched up by Ashraf and out lbw. He reconsidered his decision, but it was landing flush on his leg stump.

Smith signaled his purpose with a four through midwicket off his second ball and was unconcerned.

Pakistan has never won a Test series in Australia and has not won a Test there since 1995.

They were defeated by an innings in both matches in Australia four years ago, when Warner scored 154 and 335 not out, respectively.

Australia made one change from their previous Test against England in July, with spinner Nathan Lyon returning to the side.

Pacers Jamal and Khurram Shahzad made their Pakistan debuts for new captain Shan Masood.

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