Warner ton boosts Australia


Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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David Warner scored his second century of the match as Australia set the platform for a final-day push for victory in the first Test against India in Adelaide.

In-form Warner added 102 to his first-innings 145 before some late hitting from Steven Smith (52 not out) and Mitchell Marsh (40 off 26 balls) helped Australia close the fourth day on 290 for five – a lead of 363.

It was the second time in 2014 that Warner has scored two tons in a Test, having notched 135 and 145 against South Africa in March, while the left-hander now has 1,061 runs in seven Tests this year, with six centuries and three half-centuries.

The attacking opener was not without some fortune on a niggly fourth day at the Adelaide Oval, though, as he was given out when on 63 only to be brought back as bowler Varun Aaron had over-stepped, an incident which saw tempers flare between the sides.

Warner also gloved a ball to the wicket-keeper down the leg-side but was given not out, while he was also dropped at gully by Murali Vijay on 89.

Warner was finally dismissed for good in the final session, bowled round the legs attempting a reverse sweep at Karn Sharma, but Australia went on the offensive in the closing stages to leave India facing a likely battle to avoid defeat on day five.

The tourists were earlier bowled out for 444 having resumed on 369 for five, with Nathan Lyon finishing with five for 134.

The off-spinner was looking just as dangerous as he was the evening before and he snared Rohit Sharma caught and bowled for 43.

Lyon also claimed the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma while Peter Siddle sent back Karn Sharma and Mohammed Shami – who led a late counter-attack with a quickfire 34 – as India were bowled out before lunch.

That left Australia with a lead of 73 and they quickly set about adding to that advantage, making lunch on 32 without loss.

The hosts lost Chris Rogers softly soon after the resumption, the opener sweeping Karn Sharma to Rohit Sharma at midwicket for 21, but his fellow left-hander Warner was motoring along at the other end.

The batsman took a moment to applaud when news came through of Sean Abbott’s figures of six for 14 for New South Wales in his first match since bowling the ball which killed Phillip Hughes, and Warner also took another moment to remember his former team-mate when he reached 63.

Soon after Warner was trudging off, thinking he had been clean bowled by Aaron as he attempted a huge sweep.

But Aaron had over-stepped his mark, and when Warner returned he mocked Aaron’s celebrations as he echoed his screams of “Come on!” back at the bowler.

That raised the temperature out in the middle and angry words were exchanged between the players more than once with the umpires forced to intervene – something that was repeated again later in the day.

It did not rattle Australia however, and although Shane Watson (33) and captain Michael Clarke (seven) came and went, Warner – while riding his luck – brought up his 11th Test hundred and with the help of some late fireworks from Marsh, which included 24 off a Karn Sharma over, put the hosts in a strong position to push for victory.

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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