South African bowlers outsmart David Warner to dismiss him on day 3
Luck intervenes to send David Warner packing after a good start to his innings
Australia in November, ah, what a beautiful time it is. The start of the Australian Summer, the warm days, cool evenings and sublime beaches, just perfect. If you ever need the aforementioned facts verified, just ask any of the South African cricketers on holiday there!
Having decimated Australia in the first Test at Perth only last week, becoming the first visiting team in god knows how many years (28) to win the first match of the Australian home season, and overcoming an injury to their in-house James Bond (Dale Steyn, of course), the merry band of cricketers moved on to Hobart, a beautiful river town and capital of Tasmania.
Little did they know their stay was going to be short-lived as the Australian batsmen lasted just over a session on day 1, getting bundled out for a paltry 85. In response, South Africa were ‘doing in Rome as the Romans do’ as they lost a flurry of wickets early on in their innings.
Thankfully for them, future Jonty Rhodes (Temba Bavuma) and nearly-got-cast-as-Edward-Cullen-in-Twilight (Quinton de Kock) bailed them out with superb knocks of 74 and 104 respectively to take their lead to 241.
Over to day 3 then, with Australia staring down the barrel
Someone had to stand up and make a statement for the hosts, as they had been way too generous to their visitors so far. Generally, in these situations, Australia scurrage for the most explosive firearm in the country (David Warner) to explode.
And, David Warner has often exploded. Over the years, he has evolved, almost like a Pokémon to his most explosive form. Right now, he is a beast, in all three formats of the game. While there were never any doubts over his ability in the limited-overs formats, his ability to perform in Tests was under question early in his career.
All that changed in a period from 2013 - 2014 when he went on an incredible run, adding a number of centuries. Today, he is one of the most impactful players in the world, with the ability to change the entire course of Test matches in a session.
He started Australia’s 2nd innings in determined fashion, cutting and driving well on the off-side, apart from taking a number of threes. He raced into his 40s.
South Africa change their tactics
To stem the flow of runs from his bat, South Africa decide to offer him no room whatsoever and pepper him on his body. Kyle Abbott especially was deadly accurate as he bowled a number of deliveries close to David Warner’s body that the batsman couldn’ t work away.
On the final ball of the 23rd over, the pressure told.
Bowling over the wicket, Abbott released a shortish delivery on leg stump. Warner sized it up, and given that it didn’t look too short, he tried to flick it off his pads. While he didn’t make contact with the ball, there appeared no danger as it hit him on the front part of the thigh pad.
Reacting to the impact, he jumped after the ball hit his body. The next thing he knew, the ball ricochetted off his thigh pad and onto his elbow, the impact with the elbow reversed the direction of the ball, and it agonizingly crashed into the stumps, dislodging his bails.
Warner cut a disconsolate figure at the crease, soaking up what had just transpired.
Having looked set for a big score, he had to depart. For Australia, Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja did well to prevent any further damage and took to the team to 121/2 when bad light stopped play on day 3.
With 2 days to go and Australia still facing a 120-run deficit, South Africa appear in a good position to take a 2-0 lead in the series.