David Warner scored his ninth Test ton © Getty Images (File Photo)
David Warner scored his ninth Test ton to help Australia consolidate © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Shiamak Unwalla

Oct 24, 2014

David Warner’s ninth Test ton propelled Australia to a reasonable total of 207 for four against Pakistan on Day Three of the first Test at Dubai. Warner’s innings was also his third Test ton in as many innings, and his first ton against Pakistan in the longest format. However, despite Warner’s superb batting, the advantage rests solely with Pakistan.

However, Pakistan would perhaps be the happier team at the lunch break, with three hard-earned wickets to their name. Chris Rogers was the first man to be dismissed, out bowled by Rahat Ali for a 130-ball 38. As a point of comparison, by the time Warner had faced 130 balls, he had gone past 100.

Coming in to bat at No 3 Alex Doolan, struggled to get the ball off the blocks, taking 15 balls before scoring his first run. He could only score four more after that before falling to a slightly controversial run-out. The third umpire’s ruling came despite the fact that the bail was not clearly dislodged when his bat was just about crossing the line.

However, the biggest breakthrough was the wicket of skipper Michael Clarke. The right-hander, who has the reputation of being Australia’s best player of spin, fell to the classic bat-pad trap laid out by senior left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar. Clarke was out getting an inside edge onto his pad before Azhar Ali accepted the catch gleefully at forward short-leg.

That brought in Steve Smith, who came out with his usual positive mind-set. While Warner seemed to go into a bit of a shell, Smith kept busy at the crease, ensuring at least the occasional singles and twos. However, Warner soon brought out a big hit off Mohammad Hafeez, getting the only six of the morning. However just when things were looking peachy for Australia, Smith cut a short ball off debutant Yasir Shah right into the hands of Hafeez to put the match in Pakistan’s control.

On Day Two, Warner’s blazing half-century ensured Australia ended in a strong position against Pakistan on a day that belonged to the batsmen — indeed, over 350 runs were scored on Day Two when only 219 were scored on Day One. Warner and Chris Rogers ensured that Pakistan’s 454-run total didn’t prove to be too daunting, as the pair managed to eat into the score enough to trail by 341 runs without losing a wicket. Warner’s unbeaten 75 came off just 77 balls, while Rogers’ 31 took him 110 deliveries.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 454 (Younis Khan 106, Sarfaraz Ahmed 109; Mitchell Johsnon 3 for 39) lead Australia 207 for 4 (David Warner 133*, Chris Rogers 37; Rahat Ali 1 for 44, Zulfiqar Babar 1 for 49, Yasir Shah 1 for 30) by 247 runs.

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(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)