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Warner triple grinds Pakistan as Aussie pace attack make inroads

Labuschagne falls at 162 , Starc on fire

David Warner roars his way to a masterly 335 notout , as Pakistan looks down the barrel after 2 days of the Day-night Adelaide test.

Australia batting first in overcast conditions in day one lost Burns early but Warner and Labuschange halted any further damage and batted solidly for first two sessions to nullify any possible threat from a promising but largely an inexperienced Pakistan bowling attack.In the 3rd session under lights, which is supposed to be the most difficult phase for batting in a day-night test, both the batsmen cut loose and unfurled their wide array of strokes. Warner blazed away with his famed off side power strokes while the fast maturing Labuschagne was all class and grit as he exhibited his ever increasing array of strokes all round the park to take Australia to 302/1 at the end of day 1 . The Pakistan bowling was largely dissappointing and fielding comical at times. It was inexplicable, why they made promising tearaway Naseem Shah sit out the match with reason load management when he bowled just 20 overs in his first test. His replacement , 19 year old Musa tried too hard and had no guidance on the field. The highly rated Mohammed Abbas looked flat and Yasir Shah was the biggest disappointment and made no impact.

Day 2 had no improvements on Pakistan front as Warner and Labuschagne made merry. However Labuschagne was dismissed against the run of play by a beautiful delivery from Shaheen Afridi which pitched and jagged back to uproot his leg stump as he shaped for an expansive onside stroke. Marnus looked all set for a 200 following his 185 in 1st test but had to be content with 162. However it’s a huge progress  after his introduction to Ashes series as a concussed sub for Steve Smith at Lords and being smashed on helmet grill by Archer 2nd ball. He went on to have a brilliant ashes series with 4 half centuries which were  hard earned test runs facing a challenging bowling attack for English conditions and now he is thriving in great batting conditions raking up big scores. With his work ethic already being in limelight , the number 3 for Australia looks settled for good measure  with lesser workload for Smith one would imagine .

It was all Warner after Labuschagne dismissal. Having ushered his 200 with a roar , the southpaw looked in intimidating mood as he collared the hapless Pakistan bowling with Smith (36) and later Wade (38no) reduced to spectators. Warner was going from strength to strength till he reached his triple hundred with a short arm jab for four and let out his emotions with big roar. Indeed he had gone through plenty since the ball tampering fiasco in March 2018, being hated, hounded ,disliked but kept his nerve with a strong family behind him. He was yearning to get back to mainstream cricket and when he finally  got in first in IPL 2019 and then World cup ,he was back at his best being highest rungetter in both those events, dominating bowling attacks . But he also saw the darker side soon after, as he was hounded by Stuart Broad and English fans in Ashes series ,when he just failed to buy a run, aggregating a meagre 95 runs averaging in single digits. However backing of the selectors and some resolute domestic runs finally bore fruit as he came back in home sorrounding with a 154 at Gabba and more than double of that at Adelaide – 335 notout . A remarkable redemption after his roller coaster last 2 years.This triple means a lot to him, his family and his fans. David Warner is back !!

After the Aussies declared at 3/583 setting to rest all speculations of a possible Warner 400, the Aussie pace attack was all over the Pakistan batting under lights with pace and movement. Apart from the classy Babar Azam (42notout) ,the rest of the batting played like novices and could not put up any resistance as Starc led the bowling with 4 wickets to leave Pakistan groping at 96/6 with 3 days to go – albeit some tricky weather forecasts.

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Amitava Mukherjee

A commerce graduate with work experience in Banking sector. An avid sports enthusiast. Big fan of soccer cricket and tennis

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