Wrecking ball Warner misses record as Australia dominate
SYDNEY – David Warner clubbed the second fastest half century in test cricket to help Australia to 117 for one at tea on the fourth day of the third test on Friday, giving the hosts an overall lead of 340 as they target a 3-0 series sweep.
Seeking quick runs after Australia opted not to enforce the follow-on, the 30-year-old opener needed just 23 balls to reach the milestone, two more than the record Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq set against the same opposition in Abu Dhabi in 2014 Warner was eventually dismissed for a swashbuckling 55 off 27 deliveries but Australia continued to force the pace ahead of a likely declaration later in the day.
Earlier, after the opening session was washed out for the second day in a row, Younus Khan completed an imperious 175 not out before running out of partners as Pakistan were dismissed for 315, still 223 behind Australia’s first innings 538-8.
Despite their utter dominance, Australia will bat in their second innings with 10 players after opener Matt Renshaw was ruled out of the rest of the match by a concussion.
Usman Khawaja, who opened in place of the 20-year-old, will resume the final session on 30 not out with his captain Steve Smith, unbeaten on 25, looking well set at the other end.
Khawaja had spent the first 40 minutes of the innings mostly a spectator as Warner, who on Tuesday became the first batsman to score a century in the opening session of a test in Australia, again laid waste to the Pakistan bowlers.
Warner slapped a four over midwicket from the first ball he faced and had added 10 more boundaries by the time Wahab Riaz removed his off bail some 42 minutes later.
In one stunning over, the lefthander smashed spinner Yasir Shah for two sixes and two fours from the first four deliveries before adding a single off the fifth for good measure.
In the seventh over of the innings it was Imran Khan’s turn to take the punishment, with Warner hitting four successive fours to bring up Australia’s 50. His own half century followed in the next over, almost inevitably from a third six off the hapless Yasir.
Younus’s knock had, by contrast, been a necessarily gritty affair as his team collapsed around him. The 39-year-old, who on Thursday completed a set of centuries in each test-playing nation, batted for 443 minutes and faced 334 balls, scoring 18 fours and three sixes.
Pakistan resumed on 271-8 after the rain delay and thwarted the Australians for more than an hour until Yasir (10) and Imran (0) departed within three balls of each other. Paceman Josh Hazlewood took both wickets to finish with figures of 4-55. -Reuters