David Warner walked off the Adelaide Oval yesterday with his bat held aloft in one hand and his helmet in the other in the formation of a big V as Mark Taylor and tens of thousands of fans stood and applauded his unbeaten 335 against Pakistan.
Warner, who missed the last southern summer while serving a 12-month ban and entered the series against Pakistan after a poor Ashes return in England, beat Australia great Donald Bradman’s record of 299 — set against South Africa in 1931-1932 — for the highest Test score at the Adelaide Oval.
Then he overhauled Bradman’s highest Test score of 334 with a single before Australia captain Tim Paine declared Australia’s innings at 589-3 to give his bowlers a chance to get wickets before the main interval on day 2 of the match, which they duly did, reducing Pakistan to 96-6 at stumps.
Warner’s score is second only to Matthew Hayden, who scored 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003, among Australia’s Test batsmen.
That was a position previously shared by Bradman and Taylor, who retired on 334 against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998 out of respect for the Australian great.
Taylor was in a broadcasting commentary box yesterday when Warner surpassed his record. Bradman died in 2001, but his legacy lives on at his long-time home ground, with a stand named in his honor at the Adelaide Oval.
Warner walked through a guard of honor his teammates formed on the boundary as he went back to the dressing rooms for a well-deserved break.
Warner’s innings lasted 418 deliveries and contained 39 fours and one six — which he whacked on 302 to surpass Pakistan skipper’ Azhar Ali’s record for the biggest innings in a day-night Test.
AFP, HAMILTON, New Zealand
England rejected talk that their New Zealand series was over when they ended day 2 yesterday on 39-2, but accepted that it would need a special performance to turn their fortunes around in Hamilton.
New Zealand ruled out thoughts of playing for a draw as they targeted a clean sweep in the two-Test series after a comprehensive innings victory in the first match.
With B.J. Watling holding the innings together, New Zealand recovered from 191-5 to reach 375 in their first innings at Seddon Park, with Watling and debutant Daryl Mitchell featuring in a 124-run stand for the sixth wicket. England, in 18 overs before stumps, lost Dom Sibley and Joe Denly cheaply, while Rory Burns was dropped twice to be not out 24 with Joe Root on 6.
Stuart Broad, England’s chief wicket taker with 4-73, said there was little in the pitch to assist the bowlers and two good centuries should be enough to set them up for a series-leveling win.
“The opportunity is there to go and bat big once,” he said. “There’s not a huge amount of pressure, not a lot happening with the pitch, not a big scoreboard pressure, there’s a chance for a couple of people to go and get hundreds ... and leave ourselves a day to bowl them out.”
Mitchell, who scored 73 on debut, said New Zealand’s mindset was not to play for a draw.
“Every Test you’re aiming to win so we’re trying to find a way to win this Test match,” he said. “It’s a nice wicket to bat on at the moment, but there’s some things there we can try to exploit later on.”
All-rounder Mitchell was unruffled in his maiden Test performance.
He brought up his 50 pulling Ben Stokes through midwicket for four in a 159-ball innings that included eight fours and one six.
An even more cautious Watling, who reached his 18th half century with an elegant cut to the cover boundary off Sam Curran, faced 192 deliveries for his 55.
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