David Warner scored a century and a double in his 100th Test against South Africa at the MCG, breaking an almost three-year Test century drought.
He became the second Australian after Ricky Ponting to score twin hundreds in his 100th Test. Only Joe Root scored a double hundred in his 100th Test.
Warner became the second player after Gordon Greenidge to achieve a century in both his 100th ODI and 100th Test, and the seventh Australian to cross 8000 Test runs.
He scored his first Test century since January 2020, ending a 27-inning drought. He scored his first Test half-century in 11 innings since his Lahore half-century earlier this year. He scored his only other international century at the MCG in November against England.
Warner’s innings, following Australia’s bowling on day one, took the game away from the opposition. He sprinted out of the blocks on Monday to reach 32 not out at stumps in less than an hour, but it wasn’t the dominant century in the final session at Perth on day one in 2012 against India.
He fearlessly pulled and sliced the short ball that had dismissed him in the first Test in Brisbane. He finally got some success this summer when two outside edges and one inside edge found the rope. On the second morning, he was smacked in the helmet while pulling Anrich Nortje. But he drove aggressively and with both feet.
He ran Marnus Labuschagne out in a frantic attempt to pressure South Africa. On a scorching Melbourne day, his fitness earned him three all-run fours.
Warner survived a spell of 150kph-plus thunderbolts from Nortje, one of which hit him flush on the left index finger and required treatment from the Australia team physio.
He celebrated his century with a superb draw off Kagiso Rabada. His century took 144 balls.
Warner continued to batter South Africa’s bowlers in the afternoon heat. Hot northerly winds reached 37 degrees. His second century came off 110 balls despite cramps and heat exhaustion. After cramping while celebrating his double century, the physio helped him shuffle off the field.