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David Warner

Warner restates case for home Test summer with Shield ton

David Warner ended an extended run of poor form against the red ball with his 29th first-class century on day two of New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield encounter against Queensland.

Having gone to stumps on the opening day unbeaten on 27, Warner returned on Friday, 11 October, to produce a boundary-laden performance en route to 125 off 221 balls. By the time he was dismissed, he had made over 62% of his team’s runs. His efforts ensured that New South Wales had ascended into the lead, with six wickets still in hand, after their bowlers had routed Queensland for 153 on the first day.

Warner had to battle against early losses at the other end before raising the century. Right-arm pacer Cameron Gannon, who plays international cricket for the United States of America, ripped through the NSW top-order, with a fiery burst. His wickets included that of Steve Smith for a five-ball duck and reduced NSW to 14/3.

That would then become 54/4, before Warner rallied with Nicholas Bertus (53) to put on a 147-run fifth-wicket stand. He was eventually trapped lbw by Test team-mate Marnus Labuschagne.

The century comes at a critical juncture for Warner, whose position in the Test team came under scrutiny after his Ashes failures, with five Tests producing a return of 95 runs. Trevor Hohns, the chairman of selectors, indicated that Warner wasn’t assured of a spot for the home summer, when he said that the “slate’s wiped clean” and that “there’s a couple of batting spots up for grabs”.

This innings now reaffirms the faith that has been shown in him from various corners, including ace South Africa pacer Dale Steyn, who warned against dropping the opening batsman and called him “one of the best Test batters I’ve ever bowled to”.

Australia’s home Test season begins on 21 November, with a two-match series against Pakistan. That will immediately be followed by three Tests against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

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