Warner’s quickfire ton gives Australia perfect start in third test

SYDNEY, JAN 03 – Australia’s David Warner became the fifth batsman to hit a century before lunch on the opening day of a test match when he achieved the feat in spectacular fashion against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The opener’s 78-ball century, featuring 17 fours, was a fitting reward for some typically pugnacious batting and he was applauded from the field by the tourists at the break having helped Australia to 126 without loss.

Warner, playing on his home ground just a few hundred meters from where he was born, also bettered his own record for the fastest test century at the SCG having taken 82 balls to reach the milestone against West Indies last year.

The lefthander set the tone for the morning when he hit Mohammad Amir for four off the second ball he faced and did not let up until he had run three runs, albeit helped by a misfield, to secure his 18th test century.

Warner, who had turned down a run off another misfield to retain the strike a couple of balls earlier, raced down the pitch roaring in delight before performing his now traditional celebration by leaping into the air.

He was the first batsman to hit a century in the opening session of a test match in Australia and joined compatriots Victor Trumper, Charles Macartney and Don Bradman as well as Pakistan’s Majid Khan in achieving the feat.

Matt Renshaw held up the other end while Warner performed his pyrotechnics and will resume unbeaten on 25 after the lunch break having faced 84 deliveries.

Pakistan had made two changes to their line-up and recalled seamer Imran Khan, who replaced Sohail Khan and came in for particular punishment and was smashed for 44 runs off his seven overs.

Australia, who won the toss and chose to bat, had already ensured victory in the series after wins in the day/night Brisbane test and Boxing Day contest in Melbourne gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The hosts recalled left-arm orthodox spinner Stephen O’Keefe to join Nathan Lyon in a twin slow-bowling attack and handed a debut to all-rounder Hilton Cartwright.

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