Warner’s timely ton secures spot in history

first_imgAUSTRALIA’S vice-captain answered critics in emphatic fashion with his eighth career ton and passed the 3 000-run milestone along the wayDavid Warner has become the second-fastest Australian to score 3 000 one-day international runs after a blistering assault on South Africa’s new-ball bowlers in Durban.Warner, in his 81st ODI, entered the match 16 runs short of the milestone. He made quick work of that in a stunning assault against South Africa spearhead Dale Steyn.Warner opened his account with a boundary against Steyn’s third ball, but didn’t add any more as Steyn beat the bat twice.However, in the next over Warner cut loose, smashing the feared Proteas veteran for 17 runs.Warner thundered his way to a half-century from 41 balls as he and Aaron Finch added 88 runs in the opening 10-over powerplay as each passed fifty.Warner’s 81 innings to pass 3 000 ODI runs bettered the record of Victorian Dean Jones and former Australia opener Geoff Marsh, who each reached the milestone in 82 innings.But Michael Bevan still holds the record for the fastest Australian to 3 000. The original finisher did it in 80 innings in January 1999 when he scored an unbeaten 56 against England.Warner’s knock came after Australia’s top order had come in for criticism for some below-par performances in the opening two one-day internationals against South Africa.Former World Cup-winning wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took to the airwaves to declare “fifties aren’t going to cut it” from the Australian top order.“We need guys like Davey to get a start and go on and get some big scores,” Haddin told the Big Sports Breakfast radio programme.“At the end of the (second) game I heard Davey and Steve Smith talking about how our bowlers need to step up a little bit … but we had a couple of guys on debut.“I think the batters need to have a bit of a look at themselves. We’ve got all our senior bats there, we’re not missing anyone from that end.”Warner wasn’t the only one to answer the challenge in emphatic fashion, as Aaron Finch made the most of his licence to thrill, smashing his way to a 32-ball fifty.And skipper Smith also made a timely return to form as he too put South Africa’s bowlers under the pump with his highest score of the series, reaching triple figures for Australia’s second century of the innings.Smith’s 108 took him to 2 623 career ODI runs after 71 innings. Still 377 from the landmark, he has eight innings to better Bevan’s landmark and, with a career average of 43, could topple Bevan from top spot.Hashim Amla, recalled by South Africa for last night’s third ODI, is the all-time fastest man to 3 000 ODI runs, reaching the milestone in 57 innings.Fastest Australians to 3 000 ODI runsMichael Bevan 80 inningsDavid Warner 81Dean Jones 82Geoff Marsh 82Matthew Hayden 84Michael Hussey 86Ricky Ponting 87last_img