- Sinchan Saha | December 27, 2022 | 6:22 pm
AUS vs SA, 2nd test, Day 2: Australia 386 for 3 (Head 48*, Carey 9*) lead South Africa 189 by 197 runs
David Warner’s historic innings were epic. a partnership of 239 runs with Steven Smith, who scored 1,000 runs at the MCG A scoring rate of 4.3 runs per over throughout the day and reached a high of 5.54 in the final session, when temperatures reached 40 degrees. Australia celebrated this day.
They are on track to beat South Africa at home for the first time since the summer of 2005-2006 after taking control of the Melbourne Test and the series.
Warner kept his word before the Test, promising to return to his old self and take on the bowling despite concerns about his long-format future. Warner took the fight to South Africa from his first run on the second day, a square cut off Kagiso Rabada’s first ball, to his 200th run, when an edge flew wide of slip. In a display of extreme determination, strong strokeplay, and incredible fitness, he became the second batter to score a double hundred in his 100th Test, joining Joe Root in the record books.
In addition to his 16 fours and two sixes, Warner hit 63 singles, 14 twos, seven threes, and three fours in less than six hours at the plate. Warner asserted his authority over their spearhead Rabada with such assurance that it would not have given the rest of the team much confidence, and no South African bowler was spared. He scored 72 runs off 81 balls from Keshav Maharaj and 57 runs off 60 balls from Rabada.
On a track that was perfect for batting, South Africa’s attack never got a chance to win and may have harsh words for their lineup because they missed out on the first day. The energy-sapped pack’s most impressive member was Anrich Nortje, who consistently moved at speeds above 150 kilometers per hour. He hit his ball at 155 kilometers per hour. When Smith uppercut a short ball to gully, he was also the only one to receive a reward. By that time, most of the damage had been done.
After Marnus Labuschagne was run out in the morning session, Smith and Warner put together the second-highest third-wicket partnership Australia had ever made against South Africa. Even though Smith spoke less fluently than usual, he was still able to take advantage of loose deliveries as the attack grew tired. However, there were some challenges during his time with Warner.
With his third ball, Lungi Ngidi found Warner’s edge, but it missed the gully for four. Marco Jansen drew Smith forward and got a healthy nick, but missed the second slip. After that, Smith gave Jansen a real chance when he gloved him down the leg. Before Warner inside edged Ngidi past the stumps, Kyle Verreynne made good ground to his left but was unable to maintain his position.
That multitude of half-chances amounted to nothing when Warner arrived at 8,000 Trials and afterward proceeded to raise his hundred with a draw off Rabada. He jumped and kicked the air in celebration. Rabada thought he had Smith before the former captain reached fifty, but he overstepped on the delivery, and although replays were inconclusive, Smith appeared to glove on the pull. With a cut off of Jansen, Smith followed with fifty.
At tea, Australia held a 42-run lead and increased its pace in the final session. In the post-tea session, they crushed Ngidi and Rabada with 83 runs in 11 overs and 155 runs in 28. In their search for a wicket, both bowled a little too short. Before Nortje prevailed, Smith appeared well on his way to a century of his own, and Warner was eight runs away from a double hundred and beginning to cramp severely.
He appeared to have very little energy left to continue, but a double ton’s encouragement kept him at the crease until he was able to grab a wide Ngidi delivery, which flew off the edge and into the boundary. Only 110 balls contributed to his second hundred. Warner struggled to get back up after lowering himself to his sides and saluting with both arms. He received a standing ovation as he was helped off the field by the 40,000-strong crowd. His will be the highest individual innings in Test cricket to end a retired player’s career if he does not bat again.
Nortje and Jansen shared the second new ball, which South Africa took as soon as it became available. While Nortje inquired once more, Jansen appeared to be the easiest target. Travis Head flipped him over square leg for six, four, and a run-a-ball 48 as he searched for swing.
ALSO READ: AUS vs SA: Warner hits a double ton!
Due to the possibility of a diminished attack for the second innings, Australia are likely to bat for as long as possible. On the first day, Mitchell Starc injured his left middle finger while fielding, and he will only bowl if necessary. Cameron Green’s right index finger swelled up right away after being struck by Jansen while batting. Additionally, Green injured himself and left Australia with only Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Nathan Lyon to win the game.