Australian batsman David Warner exults after reaching his second century of the match in Brisbane yesterday.
Joe Burns smashed two sixes to reach his maiden Test century and David Warner joined illustrious company with back-to-back tons as Australia amassed a huge lead over New Zealand in the first Gabba Test yesterday.
Burns, playing in only his third Test match but his first as opener, blasted spinner Mark Craig for two sixes over long off to race from 88 to 100 in just three balls.
When bad light stopped play on the third day, Australia had stretched their overall lead to 503 runs at 264 for four and an overnight declaration imminent. First-innings centurion Usman Khawaja was not out nine with Adam Voges on one.
Burns, who belted 129 off 123 balls with 14 fours and four sixes, thrilled his home Queensland crowd with some prodigious hitting to reach his first Test ton after three consecutive Test half-centuries.
“The plan was to hit six singles but I just kind of blacked out a bit and swung as hard as I could and luckily got it over the rope,” Burns said.
“I can’t think of a better place to do it than at the Gabba in front of friends and family.”
Warner dashed to his second century of the match and 14th overall with 116 before he gave his wicket away with a switch hit to the deep off spinner Mark Craig.
It was only the third time that a batsman has scored a Test century in both innings on three separate occasions along with Test greats Ricky Ponting and Sunil Gavaskar.
It was also the first time any opening pair had compiled 150-run plus partnerships in each innings of a Test match.
“When you’re on top in the first innings you get to go out like today and play the way you want to play, with all the confidence in the world,” Warner said.
“You get that opportunity to go back to back. That’s something special, as a pair as well, a century-run partnership in both innings.”
It was remarkable scoring by Test rookie Burns and even relegated the usually rapid-scoring Warner to a supporting role against the under-strength Kiwi bowling attack, which was minus pace spearhead Tim Southee, off the field with a back injury.
It was the fourth century of the Test after Warner (163) and Khawaja (174) in Australia’s first innings and Kane Williamson’s defiant 140 in New Zealand’s innings.
Skipper Steve Smith was given out for one to a close-to-the-ground catch by Williamson off Trent Boult that needed a lengthy umpire’s review.
The Australians earlier dismissed the Black Caps for 317 with Williamson the last man out, caught behind, giving Mitchell Starc his fourth wicket of the match.
He was congratulated by the Australian players as he left the field after his 178-ball knock speckled with 24 fours.
It was Williamson’s 11th Test century and one of his best after centuries against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, England, India, Bangladesh and South Africa in his five years of playing Test cricket.
“I always think that when you score, or you make a contribution to a strong team performance, that has the most satisfaction,” Williamson said.
“It always has a lot more satisfaction behind it when you’re in a strong position in terms of the game but that’s not there at the moment. We’ve got a tough challenge on our hands.”
The 25-year-old right-hander also became only the fourth Kiwi to score a Test hundred at the Gabba along with John Reid, Martin Crowe and Jacob Oram, with his 140 marking the second highest score by a New Zealander at the ground behind Crowe’s 188.
Williamson played a lone hand for the Black Caps as wickets toppled around him on the third day.
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