Australia A v South Africa A, 1st unofficial Test, Pretoria July 24, 2013

Warner comeback ton powers Australia A

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia A 399 for 5 (Warner 193, Maxwell 103*) v South Africa A

David Warner's reinvention as a middle-order batsman received a tremendous boost as the left-hander amassed 193 against South Africa A in Pretoria. The visitors finished one run short of 400 on the opening day as Glenn Maxwell celebrated his maiden first-class century as well.

Warner was suspended from the Australian side after an altercation with England batsman Joe Root during the Champions Trophy and could not participate in the warm-up matches for the Ashes. Subsequently he was not picked to play the first Test and with coach Darren Lehmann confirming Chris Rogers and Shane Watson as Australia's openers, Warner's future in the side demanded that he adjust to the role of a middle-order batsman. He was sent to Africa with the A side to prepare him for the role; a role he was keen to perform, expressing a wish to fill the shoes of Michael Hussey.

Having failed in his only outing in Zimbabwe, Warner stepped into a delicate situation with Australia A two down, both wickets going to Kyle Abbott, by the 13th over. A 73-run partnership for the third wicket between Warner and captain Aaron Finch, who scored a half-century, revived Australia A. Marchant de Lange accounted for Finch, but Warner, having already surged to a run-a-ball, fifty spearheaded a 76-run stand with Moises Henriques to put Australia A in the driver's seat.

Henriques' fall brought Maxwell to the crease and misery to South Africa A as the duo piled on 204 runs off 229 balls with Maxwell reaching his century with his 13th four. Warner's wicket, bowled by de Lange, signalled the end of day one, but not before Warner had lasted 226 balls, and hit 30 boundaries, including one six.

Maxwell was very pleased with his innings. "It's always nice to get the century out of the way on the first day," he said. "I'm very happy with my performance; this is probably the best I've batted in a long time. It was good to bat with Dave Warner. He was taking a lot of the pressure off me by scoring pretty quickly."

Justin Ontong, the South Africa A captain, was disappointed with his side's performance. "It was quite a hard day for us. The wicket was good to bat on but we should have bowled a little better in the first hour," he said. "We bowled on both sides of the wicket which made it very difficult for me to set fields. And if you bowl [like that] to good batsmen like Warner, they'll punish you.

"We need to pick up five more wickets. We are going to have a good chat now and come back strongly tomorrow. Still it will be hard work for our batters but they need to apply themselves and show patience and get themselves in a position like David Warner got."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sam on July 26, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    Greatest_Game: "His test average calculated without including his 3 big scores, is 28."

    Isn't that like calculating a bowling average and not including 5 wicket hauls?

    As a wise man once said: "You can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that."

    Warner has to play. I'll be shocked if he doesn't.

  • Android on July 26, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    Australia could of won at Lords as the wicket look just the same, bell and root cashed in where other Batsman failed to do so, Thing being Warner scores lot faster than bell or root could dream of. At least Warner brings some action to a days play.

  • Stephen on July 25, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @Chris_P: Sorry Chris, you're entitled to your opinion obviously but I find your logic flawed. You're saying that because Fawad is 31 he should be oberlooked for someone younger who can play longer. By that reasoning Australia never should have picked Michael Hussey when they did. Yes Hussey had played for FC cricket then Fawad but that's hardly Fawad's fault as he couldn't play due to threats on his life.

    You then say that O'Keefe has earnt a shot before Fawad after having put in a good season, yet in 6 extra Shield matches for the year he only took 8 more wickets at an inferior strike rate. He also averages less then 3 wickets a match over his career compared to Fawad Ahmed who averages over 3 wickets a match.

    If you want a defensive spin bolwer like Lyon or Hauritz then O'Keefe's worth a go for sure, but if you want an atatcking wicket taking spinner like Australia traditionally have like Warne, MacGill, Benaud, Grimmett, O'Reilly then surely Fawad's our best option.

  • o on July 25, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Warner needs to be in all of the remaining ASHES Tests for the sake of cricket worldwide.

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, that is unadulterated rubbish.

    Of the current Aussie squad, Warner goes past 50 more often than any other player apart from Clarke.

    Innings per 50 ratio for the current squad is; Clarke 3.16 Warner 3.40 Watto 3.76 Smith 4.50 Ed C 4.57 Hughes 4.90 Ussie 6.50

    As you can see Davey is far more consistent than all the other young blokes and not that far behind Clarke who is one of the very best getting around. If the guy goes out and scores a ton in his next few innings he'll be making them at around 1 in 9, reasonably consistent for someone with so little experience.

  • David on July 25, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Bringing Warner back into the test squad makes absolutely no sense. In test cricket Warner scores a century 1 every 11.3 innings. Statistically, the Ashes will be over before his next big hit comes around. His test average calculated without including his 3 big scores, is 28. Yes, 28. In 60% of innings he is out within 30 balls. 50% of his innings he scores under 25 runs. In 30% of his innings he loses his wicket within 15 balls, scoring under 10 runs. Single digits once every 3.4 innings!!!

    When he is on song the man is brilliantly destructive. 193 is a great score. But don't forget that against Zimbabwe, in his 2 previous innings, Warner scored 6 in 9 balls, and 11 in 36 balls. Against Zimbabwe!!!

    Warner is a Ferrari V12 firing on only one cylinder. Occasionally he's off like a rocket. Mostly he sputters & takes up valuable space in which a real batsman, like Katich, could be scoring runs!

    Warner might have one big innings. He WILL fail most of the time. His stats prove it!!!!

  • Brenton on July 25, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    He could be Australia's long-term number 6. That should take some pressure off the batting line-up. He will go for it from ball 1 and can change the course of a test match in a session Douggie Walters and Gilchrist style. I think the third test will probably be a straight swap Smith for Warner.

  • suresh on July 25, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Though, I also feel that Warner would be good to have in England, frequent changes will only harm the team and the player. Let David continue in South Africa and make a comeback later. That will do him and Australian cricket a lot of good.

  • ZCF on July 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Well done to Dean Elgar. Good ton for him, but I'm not convinced. He did well against SL A as well but has largely failed at international level(both Test&ODIs). Even the century he scored against NZ came when we were 350 odd at a comfortable 3.5 runs per over - a total which the woeful visiting Black Caps's combined innings could not match up to.

    Anyway, all these generous and selective caps set the benchmark for how we will judge CSA when they do get round to granting opportunities to players who have long deserved call-ups but continue to be inexplicably ignored.

  • James on July 25, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Seeing these boys both get BIG hundreds on a flat wicket, maybe our batters can get 100's but because the pitches are seamer-friendly we don't see these types of scores.