David Warner etched his name into cricket folklore with a majestic triple-century as his wife Candice wiped away a tear while watching on in the Adelaide Oval grandstands.
Warner went from being the pariah of Australian cricket to being ‘better than Bradman’ with an unbeaten 335 not out on Day Two of the second test against Pakistan.
Candice could be seen in the stands hiding her emotion behind thick sunglasses which she momentarily removed to wipe away a tear as her controversial husband dominated on the pitch.
Warner went past Mark Taylor and Sir Donald Bradman’s top score of 334 before his side declared leaving him short of Matthew Hayden’s 380 and Brian Lara’s world record 400.
David Warner celebrates passing 300 runs as Australia turn the screw against Pakistan
Candice could be seen in the stands hiding her emotion behind thick sunglasses which she momentarily removed to wipe away a tear
But it still marked a turning point in the beleaguered Warner’s comeback from a ball tampering scandal that left him, former captain Steve Smith and rookie Cameron Bancroft suspended from the international game.
Candice stood by her husband as he bared the brunt of the criticism for orchestrating ‘sandpaper gate’ when he reportedly asked Bancroft to take a rough piece of paper to the match ball while Smith failed to stop them.
Candice was in the stands the day before with their daughters Ivy Mae, five, and Indi Rae, three watching on before spending some time with David when rain interrupted play.
The girls kept themselves entertained by playing with their tablet devices and at one point the cricketer, dressed in his whites, was seen untangling a cord for power bank to charge the tablet for Indi Rae.
Candice and David with their daughters Ivy Mae, five, and Indi Rae during a break in play on day one at the Adelaide Oval
Seamer Mitchell Starc grabbed four wickets as Pakistan staggered to 96 for six at stumps in reply to Australia’s 589 for three declared in the day-night test at Adelaide Oval.
Having lost the opener in Brisbane by an innings and five runs, Pakistan will hope rain forecast in coming days might help stave off an ignominious series whitewash.
Babar Azam was on 43, with tailender Yasir Shah on four, the pair facing an improbable rescue mission.
Tim Paine’s declaration robbed Warner of the chance to push for Brian Lara’s world record of 400 but the left-handed opener joined exalted company after striding off unbeaten on 335, the 10th highest score in tests.
‘At the moment I’m getting a little bit of luck, which is good,’ said Warner.
‘But it’s just being disciplined. As I said yesterday, the last two weeks that I’ve played I’ve been very disciplined and I’m very happy with that.’
Warner’s total on the scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval as Australia piled on the runs
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali shakes Warner’s hand – he finished the day unbeaten on 335
Australia captain Tim Paine offered Warner his applause as he reached the landmark
Facing 418 balls in more than nine hours at the crease, Warner became the seventh Australian to reach triple figures and only the third to score more than 250 twice, joining former captains Don Bradman and Michael Clarke.
The stocky 33-year-old pulled seamer Mohammad Abbas for four to reach the milestone, eclipsing Don Bradman’s unbeaten 299 against South Africa in 1932, the previous highest score at the ground.
All this, eight months after completing a year-long suspension for ball-tampering that scandalised a nation and saw the former vice captain banned from leadership roles for life.
Having brought the crowd to their feet with his 200th run earlier in the day, Warner bowed before another standing ovation, after bounding down the pitch roaring and leaping twice in the air.
Warner hammered 154 in the innings and five run win in Brisbane and now has 489 runs for the series.
Flaying legspinner Yasir Shah for a run-a-ball, the man nicknamed ‘Bull’ plundered 39 fours and a six from a dispirited Pakistan attack.
However, for the second test in succession, he was reprieved by a no-ball from a debutant paceman.
Warner then took a catch off of the bowling of Mitchell Starc to remove Imam-ul-Haq
Warner was at the centre of the celebrations as Australia got an early Pakistan wicket
In Brisbane it was 16-year-old Naseem Shah who overstepped when Warner tickled a catch behind the wicket when on 56.
At Adelaide, 19-year-old Muhammed Musa was similarly culpable when he had Warner caught in the slips when on 226.
Warner’s magic test continued in the field when he took a sharp catch at third slip to remove opener Imam-ul-Haq, who was out for two edging Starc.
On a day of tumbling records, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne combined for 361 runs, the highest second-wicket partnership in tests in Australia.
Steve Smith notched his 7,000th run in his knock of 36, becoming the fastest player to reach the milestone in tests.
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi took all three of Australia’s wickets, including bowling Labuschagne for 162.