Warner, Smith pile on pain for Pakistan in day-night test
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — David Warner reached a career-high 261 and shared partnerships of 361 with Marnus Labuschagne and an unbroken 106 with Steve Smith as Australia reached 475-2 to pile on the pain for Pakistan in the day-night cricket test.
While Warner capped back-to-back centuries with his highest score, surpassing his 253 against New Zealand in 2015, Smith’s return to the runs ensured he became the fastest batsmen to pass 7,000 career runs in test cricket.
Smith and Warner had contrasting Ashes series in England, where the pair returned to the test format from their 12-month bans for their parts in a ball-tampering episode in South Africa in March of last year.
Warner averaged 9.5 as Australia retained the Ashes and his place at the top of the order came into question. Smith was the leading scorer in the series against an England attack that struggled to get his wicket.
In two innings back on home soil, Warner has scored 154 in Australia’s innings victory in the first test and is unbeaten after facing 349 balls at the Adelaide Oval. He had one reprieve at the Gabba, when he was caught on 56 off a no-ball from 16-year-old Naseem Shah. He had another reprieve on Saturday, this time on 226 and against another test rookie, when he edged 19-year-old Muhammad Musa to the slips but stayed at the crease because the young paceman had over-stepped.
“At the moment I’m getting a little bit of luck ... (but) I’ve been very disciplined my last two innings,” Warner said as he walked off the field at the end of the second session on day two. “At the moment, we’re in a good position. I’ll be putting the foot down soon.”
After being dismissed for four in Australia’s win in the first test — the seventh time he has been dismissed by Yasir Shah — Smith started the day-night test needing 23 to reach the 7,000-run milestone.
He was more circumspect in Adelaide and more deliberate each time he set up on strike. He was unbeaten on 34 from 59 deliveries at the break. Smith reached the milestone in his 126th innings, beating a record set by England’s Walter Hammond in 1946.
Smith also passed the great Donald Bradman’s career runs mark of 6,996, although Bradman compiled those runs in 70 test innings.
Australia has dominated the day-night match since winning the toss and electing to bat despite overcast conditions on Friday and rain on the forecast. Shaheen Afridi took a wicket in the first session, having Joe Burns (4) caught at slip with the total at eight.
The Australians resumed on day two at 302-1 with Warner on 166 and Marnus Labuschagne on 126.
The pair took the total to 369 before Shaheen struck again with the second new ball, bowling Labuschagne for 162. Labuschagne posted a career-high 185 in the first test last week for his maiden test hundred. He now has a pair of 150s.
Australia added 173 runs in an extended opening session on Saturday and will likely look to accelerate the scoring in order to declare during the evening or night session, when the pink ball tends to swing and seam.