Warner, Smith take Australia to 244/3 on Day 1 of 4th Ashes Test
Melbourne, Dec 27: David Warner cracked 103 as Australia reached 244 for three on the opening day of the fourth and penultimate Ashes Test against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Tuesday.
The opening batsman’s 21st Test century came off 130 deliveries as he got a reprieve on his personal score of 99. His knock featured 13 fours and a six.
Debutant Tom Curran got him to top edge a delivery to mid-on. Warner walked off but replays confirmed that Curran had over-stepped.
Warner was caught behind off James Anderson for 103 off 151 balls, with Australia at 135 for two.
He also crossed 6,000 career runs in Tests, joining Greg Chappell as the fourth fastest Australian to do so behind Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden.
Apart from Warner, Steven Smith continued his red-hot form with an unbeaten 65 as the hosts, who have already pocketed the series, moved to a strong position.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat and they mostly relied on the belligerent left-hander Warner while Cameron Bancroft (26) and Usman Khawaja (17) failed to impress.
Seamer Chris Woakes got an LBW verdict against Bancroft, while Khawaja was caught by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow off Stuart Broad.
At this point of time, the hosts were at 160/3 riding on the power and aggressive batsmanship of Warner.
Later, Smith was joined in the middle by Shaun Marsh (31 not out) and the pair stitched together an unbeaten partnership of 84 runs for the fourth wicket.
Shaun survived an lbw review in his first delivery bowled by Broad, but after that he and Smith had little trouble negotiating the English bowlers.
Smith, who had 491 runs at an average of 163.66 from five innings in the series before this game, struck six fours during his 131-ball stay at the crease by close of play.
Brief scores: Australia: 244/3 (David Warner 103, Steven Smith 65 not out; Stuart Broad 1/41) vs England on Day 1 of 4th Test.
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