Warner silences critics with century in Perth Test, enters list of top-5 run-getters for Aus in Tests

Perth: Veteran Australia opening batter David Warner has silenced the critics with a swashbuckling century 164 off 211 balls on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan on Thursday.

The 37-year-old needed just 125 balls to reach triple figures mark. During his remarkable innings, he struck 16 boundaries and four maximums, marking his 26th career century and his first since January 2020.

En route to his incredible innings, Warner entered the top five run-getters for Australia in Test cricket, leapfrogging Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke. In the all-time list, his big hundred helped him surpass fellow swashbucklers Sir Viv Richards and Virender Sehwag.

Warner now stands fifth among Australia’s highest Test run-getters with 8651 runs, trailing only Steve Smith, Steve Waugh, Allan Border and Ricky Ponting.

Warner justified Pat Cummins’ decision to bat first on the Perth surface as he came out with intent. He raced to a fifty off just 41 balls, stringing a century stand with Usman Khawaja that came at a brisk pace.

While his fellow teammates were guilty of not capitalising on good starts – Smith was the next-highest scorer on the day with only 41 runs – Warner went on to notch up his 26th Test hundred that was followed by his trademark leap and celebration.

After reaching his century, the 37-year-old received a couple of lifelines – first, Khurram Shahzad missed a catching opportunity, and then Sarfaraz Ahmed failed to execute a stumping. Warner made Pakistan pay by piling on the runs and notching up 150.

The visitors finally got the better of Warner by deploying the short-ball tactic that saw the Aussie opener hole out in the deep a few overs before the end of the day’s play.

Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey then navigated the remaining overs without further setbacks, guiding Australia to a commanding position with 346 runs on the board and five wickets down.

Warner’s position in the Test side became a subject of public debate following an explosive column from former pace ace Mitchell Johnson.

Johnson Johnson, fired up debate on Warner ahead of his final Australian Test summer with a column in the West Australian, questioning over why the left-handed opener is getting a hero’s send-off while still now owning up his role in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

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