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Majestic Warner puts Pakistan to the sword in Adelaide

Cricket

Blazing batsmen David Warner and Travis Head served up a record Australia Day run feast as the hosts pounded Pakistan by 57 runs in yesterday's one-dayer in Adelaide.

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Warner and Head cracked Australia’s highest partnership in one-day history – their stunning 284-run stand was just two runs shy of equalling a world record.

Their feat propelled Australia to 7-369, the nation’s seventh-highest ODI total, before Pakistan replied with 9-312, with Shoab Malik retiring hurt after being struck on a wrist.

Warner smacked 179, six runs short of equalling Shane Watson’s highest ODI score by an Australian.

And with hometown hero Head cracking his first 50-over hundred in the national side – finishing with a composed 128 – the 23-year-old became the third-youngest batsman to make a one-day ton for Australia, after being promoted to open when Usman Khawaja was rested.

The pair plundered Pakistan’s bowlers as Australia sealed an emphatic 4-1 series win before 27,929 spectators.

Head and Warner – who now has six tons from his past 11 limited-overs innings – eclipsed Australia’s previous one-day benchmark partnership of 260, by Warner and Steve Smith against minnows Afghanistan in 2015.

But Warner’s blazing knock ended with the duo a shot away from the world record ODI opening stand of 286 by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in 2006.

Warner reached his quickest-ever ODI century from just 78 balls – the same amount of deliveries it took Head to reach his half-century.

Just days after collecting his second consecutive Allan Border Medal, Warner claimed successive tons by blasting 19 fours and five sixes in a mercurial 128-ball knock.

The lefthander was dropped on the first ball of the innings – Pakistani captain Azhar Ali captain Azhar Ali just got fingertips to a tough chance when diving high and wide at second slip.

Warner then was in supreme command of a hapless bowling attack to post his 13th one-day ton – five of them featuring scores higher than 150.

Pakistan’s run chase was plucky, highlighted by Babar Azam’s classy 100 from 109 balls (seven fours, one six) and Sharjeel Khan’s aggressive 79 (69 balls, nine fours, two sixes).

But Australian quick Mitchell Starc took 4-42 to help ensure the tourists were never really in the hunt.

Head said he and Warner were unaware of the records they were setting during their partnership.

“Nah, just as they popped up on the screens,” Head said of when the pair became aware of their records.

“It went pretty quickly, it helped with him (Warner) at the other end firing.

“But yeah, the milestones went pretty quick.

“I guess I will look back at that and give it some time to sink in but yeah, it was a fantastic day with Davey.”

Warner’s 179 is the highest ODI score by any batsman at Adelaide Oval.

Head, meanwhile, stamped his credentials as an opener having started the five-game series in the opening slot before being dropped down the order.

“As a batter, I’d love to bat as high as I possibly can and if that means there’s opportunity, as there was in this series, that is fantastic,” he said.

“It’s nice to get first crack at it and get runs but I’m happy do to the job wherever it’s needed in the side.”

He described the performance as “a fantastic day, personally and for the team”, while being in awe of Warner’s display.

“Unbelievable. It was another match-winning performance by him,” he said.

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Mitchell Starc took care of the Pakistani top order. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

South African coach Mickey Arthur said the Australian tour was a learning curve for his players.

“We have got a lot of work to do,” Arthur said.

“Fitness and fielding is going to be total priority… we are not up to the mark in those two areas.”

-AAP

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