Going big at the WACA

WARNER

David Warner’s massive 253 was a further exclamation of his evolution from Twenty20 blaster to one of the world’s best Test openers.

Warner faced only 286 balls, plundering 24 boundaries and two sixes.

But where does it stand in the WACA’s history?

Warner owns the second highest Test score at the WACA. Matthew Hayden’s then-world-record 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003 is unlikely to be eclipsed. Hayden’s epic triple ton (437 balls, 38 boundaries and 11 sixes) drove Australia to a massive 7/435 declared. Poor old Zimbabwe replied with 239 and 321 to lose by an innings and 175 runs.

It is Warner’s third century at the WACA, following 112 in the 2013/14 Ashes and 180 against India in 2011/12. He adds to his record limited-over score of 178 against Afghanistan in this year’s World Cup.

Warner joins Michael Slater, Brad Hodge and David Boon as WACA double-centurions.

Michael Slater, 219 v Sri Lanka, 1995/96

While Australia’s 1995/96 Test series against Sri Lanka is remembered for Murali’s no-ball drama at the MCG and Ricky Ponting’s sensational debut, vivacious opener Slater dined at the WACA. After Sri Lanka made 251, Slater batted all of day two, scoring 189 as Australia reached 2/358, a lead of 107. Slater and fellow opener Mark Taylor nearly wiped off Sri Lanka’s score themselves, compiling 228. Slater added another 30 on the third morning to reach his double century. Slater faced 321 balls, hitting 15 fours and five sixes. Slater was dismissed by Murali at 422, and then watched as Mark Waugh (111), Ponting (96) and the underrated Stuart Law (54) gave Australia a lead of 366 before declaring.  Sri Lanka showed admirable fight in the second innings, batting 94 overs for 330.

Brad Hodge, 203* v South Africa, 2005/06

Brad Hodge was an enigmatic cricketer. He dominated domestically for nearly 20 years with Victoria and in England, playing almost 500 first class/list A games for over 26,000 runs. With any other country he’d have a long Test career, yet he only played six Tests from 2005 to 2008. He scored just one Test ton, his double century against South Africa. Hodge’s knock was crucial. Trailing by 38 on first innings, Hodge came in at 3/129 after 40 overs.  More than 100 overs later, Hodge was 203 not out. He faced 332 balls and hit 22 boundaries. He compiled 132 with Mike Hussey (58), 61 with Andrew Symonds (25) and 67 with Adam Gilchrist (44). Australia finished with a lead of 490. At 4/138 in South Africa’s second innings, Hodge’s double looked like a match winner. Jacques Rudolph scored 102 not out to salvage a draw.

David Boon, 200 v New Zealand, 1989/90

Warner’s double was the second conceded by the Kiwis in Perth in 26 years. The first was David Boon in 1989 in the one-off Test. After losing opening partner Mark Taylor early, Boon complied 149 with Tom Moody (61), 139 with captain Allan Border (50) and 45 with Dean Jones (99). Border faced 326 balls and hit 28 boundaries. Boon helped Australia to 9/521 declared. New Zealand followed on 290 behind before Mark Greatbatch (146 not out) dug his heels in and ensured the draw.

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