29 December, 2016
David Warner's maiden Test century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) engineered an Australian fightback on day three against Pakistan but the second Test appears headed for a draw.
Warner, who passed 5000 career Test runs during the innings, scored his first Test ton since January and from the onset appeared a man on a mission.
The left-hander blazed 13 fours in reaching three figures from just 113 balls and continued the assault against a toothless Pakistan attack, adding a further 44 runs before he was caught down the leg side off the bowling of Wahab Riaz. The searing and reverse-swinging delivery was in the midst of three consecutive no-balls from Wahab, whose groove was blighted by overstepping.
Warner batted positively but with minimal risk in a determined effort to steer Australia to safety and notch a belated Test century. And the visitors declared their innings at 443-9, with Ali remaining unbeaten on 205 from 364 deliveries out of which 20 were fours.
And as he marked centre at the one major Australian venue where, until today, he hadn't scored a Test century, the opener concedes he didn't feel at his best.
Big boost for Salvation Army
The toys come from local drives, individual donations and Share Your Holiday the Salvation Army and KSBW partnership fundraiser. French said donations also were stronger this year to help meet that need. "So it's a constant challenge all around", he said.
Warner had looked troubled early by Pakistan's seamers but soon found his groove, punishing a wayward spell by legspinner Yasir Shah and finding the boundary easily.
If Pakistan wanted to win the second Test after batting for the first two-and-a-half days at the MCG, it needed to have made inroads into Australia's batting line-up, but no such luck. He anchored the side's innings, playing the steady hand as wickets fell around him and taking a step back as Sohail Khan blasted 65 in a fiery run-a-ball stand.
After a short rain break, albeit a fleeting one, Pakistan chose to hit out in a bid for quick runs after so much of the Test had already been lost.
The target set by Kangaroos of 490 runs was more than enough at first but then things started to drift away from them when Pakistani tail gave a tough time in the Gabba Test. Azhar became the fourth visiting batsman to score a double hundred at MCG, and missed the West Indies legend's 32-year-old record by a whisker.