First Twenty20 International

Australia v South Africa 2008-09

Daniel Brettig

At Melbourne, January 11, 2009 (floodlit). Australia won by 52 runs. Toss: Australia. Twenty20 international debuts: D. A. Warner; L. L. Tsotsobe, V. B. van Jaarsveld

David Warner launches a huge six over midwicket on his way to 89 on debut, Australia v South Africa, 1st Twenty20 international, Melbourne, January 11, 2009
David Warner set the MCG alight in his first international game © PA Photos
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David Warner, a 22-year-old 5ft 7in left-hander, walked out to open the batting as the first man since John Hodges and Tom Kendall in the first Test of all in March 1877 to represent Australia without having played a first-class match. By the time he returned 64 minutes later, Warner was less a debutant than a one-man circus. His 43-ball 89 featured six sixes, all clubbed baseball-style in the arc between mid-on and fine leg, plus seven fours, and completely flummoxed the South Africans.

The innings brought genuine excitement to a summer that had previously been characterised more by local failures than successes, turning Warner, for better or worse, into an instant celebrity. The Australians lost their way somewhat following his dismissal, but still had more than enough runs to defend once South Africa slipped to 12 for three in the face of pace and swing from Bracken, Tait and Hilfenhaus. Duminy's rearguard 78 (which included a scooped six off Tait over the wicketkeeper's head) was almost as impressive as Warner's effort, without being anywhere near as conspicuous.

Man of the Match: D. A. Warner

© John Wisden & Co.