Sport Cricket Warner, Khawaja put Black Caps to the sword
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Warner, Khawaja put Black Caps to the sword

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David Warner broke New Zealand’s spirit and all manner of records in a scarcely-believable start to the second Test, with Australia reaching 2-416 at stumps.  

Warner finished unbeaten on a career-best 244 at the WACA against New Zealand, with only Don Bradman scoring more runs on day one of a Test.

Usman Khawaja registered his second century of the three-Test series, which so far has resembled glorified batting practice for the hosts.

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Khawaja’s knock of 121 was overshadowed by Warner’s maiden double-ton, which moved his series tally to 523 runs.

Some 54 more runs and Warner will set a new Australian mark for a three-Test series.

There was a sense of groundhog day about the way Australia’s vice-captain took control after Steve Smith won the toss, a modest crowd of 13,593 watching.

The script was somewhat similar to that written at the Gabba, where Australia cruised to a 208-run win and set a venue record for most runs on day one of a Test.

Warner again powered Australia past 0-100 with the help of Joe Burns, who fell for 40 in the morning session.

Once again, Warner shared an incredibly productive partnership with Khawaja, their 302-run stand setting a new second-wicket WACA record.

Warner scored quickly and easily from the moment the opener dispatched his first two deliveries to the fence.

Yet this six-and-a-half hour highlight reel was different.

Warner’s career-best form reached a new zenith and Australia’s dominance was amplified, while NZ’s Decision Review System (DRS) angst took a new twist.

He raced to 29 off 20 balls, posting a half-century after 72 minutes and a ton from 118 deliveries.

Then came the nervous 190s – the fact Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill were bowling at the time saying much about the state of play.

Warner scampered through for a single off Guptill to reach 200 off 236 balls then proceeded to attack the second new ball with renewed vigour.

The first new ball had been replaced after nine overs, Warner whacking it out of shape.

The second one, taken after 80 overs, was changed after three strokes.

Australia’s run rate was 4.62, an incredible number given the visitors opted for four frontline pacemen instead of a like-for-like replacement for injured allrounder James Neesham.

The 29-year-old cracked 22 fours and two sixes, most of the runs coming from sensible strokes and sharp running between the wickets.

McCullum wasted the side’s first review in the 13th over then gambled on the second, when Warner was on 78 and was struck on the pads by Trent Boult in the 29th over.

Ball-tracking technology suggested the ball was clipping the top of middle stump, but only enough of it to deliver a verdict of ‘umpire’s call’.

With no reviews remaining, the Black Caps were at risk of further misery.

Sure enough, Khawaja was given not out on 36 when he feathered an edge to keeper BJ Watling.

– AAP