David Warner produced the biggest innings ever in the day-night test cricket format and surpassed some of Don Bradman’s records before finishing unbeaten on 335 when Australia captain Tim Paine declared at 589-3 on day two against Pakistan.
Paine’s decision to put the team above the individual on Saturday evening left Warner in second spot on Australia’s all-time list of biggest test scorers, behind only Matt Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.
Warner had just taken a single to surpass 334, which was the great Bradman’s highest test score.
Along the way, he shared a 361-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne (162), a record for Australia against Pakistan, and had partnerships of 121 with Steve Smith (36) and 99 with Matthew Wade, who finished unbeaten on 38 from 40 balls.
Paine made the decision to declare so that his pacemen would get some overs at Pakistan’s top order before the dinner interval, the main break in the day-night format. Warner couldn’t be kept out of the action, then, either.
Pakistan openers Shan Masood and Imam-ul-Haq (2) both got the better of decision referrals in the first two overs before Mitch Starc got the breakthrough, getting a tick edge off ul-Haq’s bat that carried at waist-height to Warner in the gully.
At the end of the middle session, Pakistan was 3-1, with Masood on one and skipper Azhar Ali yet to get off the mark from his first three balls.
The first five sessions have been painful for Pakistan, with Shaheen Afridi’s three wickets the only highlights.
Along the way, Azhar’s record of 302 for a day-night test was lost to Warner, who whacked a six to move to 308 to underscore his dominance.
Warner, who missed the last southern summer while serving a 12-month ban and entered the series against Pakistan after a poor Ashes in England, beat Bradman’s record of 299 set against South Africa in 1931-32 for the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval.
Then he just kept going, and finally was called back into the pavilion with the 10th-highest score ever in a test match Brian Lara’s 400 not out remains the record.
Warner 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.”
Warner’s innings lasted 418 balls and contained 39 fours and one six and, combined with his 154 in the first test against Pakistan last week, has no doubt cemented his place in the Australian team.
That came into question when he scored 95 runs in 10 innings in the Ashes in August and September, getting one half-century, making three ducks and failing to get out of single figures every other time except once when he was out for 11. Smith’s return to the runs ensured he became the fastest batsmen to pass 7,000 career runs in test cricket.
Smith was the highest scorer in the Ashes but was out for four in the series-opener against Pakistan at the Gabba, where Australia won by an innings and five runs.
He was more circumspect in Adelaide and more deliberate each time he set up on strike before first interval, ensuring he reached the milestone in his 126th innings and beating a record set by England’s Walter Hammond in 1946.
But he played an extravagant Twenty20-style attempted slog off Shaheen and got an inside edge to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.
That gave Shaheen his second wicket of the day after bowling Labuschagne with the new ball.
Shaheen returned figures of 3-88 from 30 overs, but the other bowlers were expensive. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah returned 0-197, test rookie Muhammad Musa went wicketless for 114 and veteran seamer Mohammad Abbas had figures of 0-100.