Warner returns to form with century as New South Wales extend lead
StumpsNew South Wales 9 for 288 (Warner 125, Bertus 53, Gannon 5-94, Neser 2-56) lead Queensland 153 (Labuschagne 69, Conway 5-17, Abbott 3-25) by 135 runs
After a tortuous Ashes, David Warner marked his first innings of the Australia summer with an impressive century against Queensland at the Gabba.
Warner made just 95 runs in 10 innings against England and passed that mark with a handsome drive off Mark Steketee shortly before reaching his hundred from 179 balls by tucking a delivery off his hip through square leg. He removed his helmet, raised his bat to the dressing room and brought out a little leap of celebration.
His innings, and a stand of 147 with Nick Bertus, put New South Wales into a healthy position with a lead of 135 although Cameron Gannon added to his success of removing Steven Smith for a duck to finish with 5 for 94.
Earlier this week, national selector Trevor Hohns had stopped short of saying Warner's position in the Test was secure regardless of early-season form, but this innings has ended any doubt of him returning at the Gabba next month for the first Test against Pakistan.
"Trevor said what he has to do as a selector and we know what our job is, it's to score runs," Warner said. "If you aren't doing than you probably rightfully aren't going to get picked. You back yourself, I know at home I have a great record and you trust your game plan.
He had done well to survive the previous evening against some demanding bowling and continued to fight hard on the second morning. He wasn't always secure - Gannon gave him a working over from round the wicket with one edge falling just short of third slip - but Warner drove and cut strongly when the chance was offered. This came after only a handful of net sessions since the Ashes.
"I honestly picked up a bat three days before we came here," he said. "I know my game so well in Australia, you can bowl round the wicket in Australia but it's about adapting to that length. It's quite hard in England because when they bowl back-of-a-length it still hits the stumps, still making you play forward. I know when I'm on when I'm playing the little back-foot punch and pull. Knowing that, and playing that today, I was very pleased."
When he brought up three figures he had scored almost two-thirds of New South Wales' runs in a match that had been dominated by the bowlers. He was eventually pinned lbw by some sharp spin from Marnus Labuschagne although Warner did not appear thrilled by the decision.
Bertus had been excellent support although had some fortune during his half-century. He was dropped on 1 at second slip by the usually secure Joe Burns - whose other three catches had been tougher - and was missed again on 19 when first slip was slow to react to a top edge which looped over the keeper.
When he edged behind off Steketee, Peter Nevill and Sean Abbott extended the lead towards three figures. Gannon claimed his fifth wicket when Mitchell Starc skied to mid-on before the evening session was truncated by rain.