David Warner, with an unbeaten 261 – his highest Test score, took Pakistan’s attack to the cleaners as Australia bestrode the opposition in the first session of Day 2 of the pink-ball Test in Adelaide. The home side was in an impregnable position at Tea, ending up with 475 for 2.
Warner and his batting partner Marnus Labuschagne had made their intentions clear at the start of the day by taking the aggressive route against Yasir Shah. The legspinner came under severe punishment as the duo unleashed a string of shots – lofts, cuts and pulls. With runs coming thick and fast, Pakistan looked down and out and was in search of a spark of inspiration. At that stage, Shaheen Afridi provided the breakthrough by castling Labuschagne with the in-seamer, bringing to an end the massive stand of 361. Just that Steven Smith joined hands with Warner to share another sizeable partnership.
Warner soon reached his double ton and continued to flay Pakistan’s clueless attack. He even showed swagger by nonchalantly ramping Muhammad Musa over the slip cordon. However, the Test debutant could have dismissed Warner, when he tempted the southpaw to slice at a fuller delivery to gully, but he paid the price for overstepping. Ecstasy followed by more agony. Incidentally, Musa has struggled with the problem of overstepping through the course of the Test.
Warner and Smith then paddled through the good spell from Musa to take the side to the break. The plight of Pakistan’s side can be capsulized by the point that 173 runs were scored in the session in just 35 overs. Only Afridi has been among the wickets so far. Meanwhile, Yasir, the main spinner, has gone for more than six runs per over. The visitors would hope to at least pick up a few wickets in the post-Tea session.
Brief scores: Australia 475/2 (David Warner 261*, Marnus Labuschagne 162*; Shaheen Afridi 2-75) v Pakistan.