MELBOURNE: Fly-half David Warner battled scorching heat to hit an epic unbeaten 200 in his 100th Test on Tuesday before retiring in pain as Australia have consolidated their advantage over South Africa to Melbourne Cricket Ground.
On a torrid day, the hosts were 386-3 at the stumps on day two of the second Test, leading by 197 after the Proteas were dismissed in their first innings for 189.
Travis Head was not out 48 with Alex Carey on nine.
Steve Smith (85) and Marnus Labuschagne (14) were the only wickets to fall. But worryingly for Australia, Cameron Green, who took 5-27 in South Africa’s first leg, also dropped out injured after a nasty smack on the finger from Anrich Nortje.
Smith and Warner’s 239-run partnership took the game away from South Africa, whose bowlers struggled in temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

Warner, 36, ended a century-long nearly three-year drought in generally aggressive and gritty fashion, hitting triple figures for the 25th time after entering the game under pressure after a lean run.
It was his first Test hundred since January 2020 and as the opposition bowlers weary he battled the elements and converted it to 200 for only the third time.
But it was an exhausting effort, as it passed 8,000 tests along the way.
Chairs had to be brought for Warner and Smith to rest during drink breaks, with towels draped over their heads and ice packs around their shoulders.
Warner needed treatment for cramps on several occasions and retired in pain after turning 200 and kneeling, eventually helped from the pitch by support staff.

(Photo PTI)
Australia rallied 45-1, having lost Usman Khawaja late on Monday after taking charge on the opening day, with Green’s heroism helping to send the visitors away for under 200 again.
They were all out for 152 and 99 in the first Test in Brisbane, which they lost by six wickets in two days.
Warner started on the 32nd and showed his aggressive intent with an early boundary off Kagiso Rabada.
Nortje regularly rocketed at 150 km/h (93 mph), hitting Warner on the head when he was at 47. The batter was given the go-ahead after a mandatory concussion test on the pitch, a long delay because a new helmet was found.
But disaster struck twice after play resumed.
Warner pushed Nortje for a single and came back for a second, but Labuschagne hesitated and was exhausted despite a dive.

Unfazed, Warner headed to 100, hitting the air when he got there with a boundary after a near-perfect shot characterized by his strong run between the wicket.
Smith wasn’t as comfortable, escaping at nine when he was let go by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and then at 39 when he was left behind only to have it called a no-ball after that Rabada has passed the mark.
But he persevered to reach a 37th Test fifty with a four from Marco Jansen.
Warner upped the ante after his century and ran 200 out of 254 balls before quitting.
Smith left shortly before his partner reached the milestone, with Nortje getting his reward for a hard day’s work, Theunis de Bruyn taking a hold at the ravine.



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