Watch: After hobbling to a double-hundred in his 100th Test match, David Warner leapt to celebrate in trademark fashion – before deciding to retire hurt.
Warner had a wretched 2022 – 371 runs in 10 Test matches at 20.61 – until the Boxing Day Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Here, he emerged on the first evening, after the Australians, led by Cam Green (5-27), rolled over South Africa for 189. He was unbeaten on 32 by stumps, and Australia on 45-1.
On the second morning, Warner launched a furious assault on the South Africans, taking 72 balls for each of his first two fifties. In the process, he became the 10th cricketer – after Colin Cowdrey (104), Javed Miandad (145), Gordon Greenidge (149), Alec Stewart (105), Inzamam-ul-Haq (184), Ricky Ponting (120 and 143*), Graeme Smith (131), Hashim Amla (134), and Joe Root (218) – to score a hundred in their hundredth Test match. He celebrated the milestone in trademark fashion, leaping to punch the air.
Warner reached 150 in 222 balls, and showed no signs of stopping thereafter – until the cramps caught up with him. As the singles dried out, he decided to stay put and focus on boundaries. The fourth fifty took a mere 32 balls, and included four fours and two sixes – a third of his boundary hits in the innings.
When Warner was on 196, a ball from Lungi Ngidi slightly cramped him for room. The ball flew to somewhere between the usual second and third slip positions. Unfortunately, neither fielder was there, and the ball soared past the outstretched arms of the diving first slip for four, and Warner became the second (after Root) to get a double-hundred in his hundredth Test match.
Warner knelt on the ground, bat in one hand, helmet in the other, before ‘punching’ the air upwards with both hands. He then walked a couple of steps – he had been cramping up – before leaping to punch the air with the hand in which he held the helmet.
Having gone through the rituals, he decided to retire hurt on a round 200, with Australia on 329-3. At the time of writing, Australia are 363-3, with Travis Head on 35 and Green on six. They lead by 174 runs.
Watch David Warner’s celebration and the aftermath here:
A double century for David Warner!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 27, 2022