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09 December 2023

Warner slams fastest SCG ton in Windies Test draw

Australian batsman David Warner plays a reverse sweep on the way to scoring his century against the West Indies on the final day of the third cricket Test match played in Sydney on January 7, 2016. (AFP)


Australia's David Warner lit up the final day of the rain-ruined third Test with the fastest Test century at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the match meandered to a draw against the West Indies on Thursday.

Man-of-the-match Warner, determined to finish an undistinguished series on a high, reached his 16th Test century off 82 balls before a small Sydney crowd in the last rites to a frustrating Test. It eclipsed Matthew Hayden's 84-ball ton against Zimbabwe in 2003.

The buccaneering opener had a highest score of 64 in the two previous Tests as team-mates helped themselves to six centuries against the tourists' innocuous bowling attack.

Warner was hell-bent on rectifying that deficiency and attacked the bowling from the first ball to raise his maiden ton against the West Indies.

When the match was called off at 4:50pm  local time (0550 GMT), Warner was unbeaten on 122 off 103 balls with Peter Nevill on seven and Australia 176 for two in reply to the West Indies' 330.

The match was destined to a draw after two days were washed out with only 86.2 overs possible before the anti-climatic fifth day.

Skipper Steve Smith revealed after play that he had offered to contrive a result through declarations, but said that his West Indies counterpart Jason Holder declined the offer.

"Unfortunately, they didn't come to the party," Smith said.

When play resumed the West Indies added 82 runs before being dismissed for 330.

Australia, and Warner in particular, went after the tourists' total with gusto to entertain the small crowd given free admission into the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Warner provided plenty of entertainment, clubbing spinner Jomel Warrican for two sixes in three balls on the way to plundering 16 runs from one over.

"We tried to go out there and be as positive as we could," Warner said.

"We tried to score some runs at a nice rate to give the fans something to watch."

Warner and Joe Burns raised their 100-run stand off 92 balls, with Warner contributing 74 runs.

Burns was out soon after, attempting to hoist Warrican over mid-on only to be taken head-high by Kemar Roach for 26.

Under-used Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Neville were promoted in the order.

Marsh, in only his third bat of the series, was caught at slip for 21 giving spinner Jomel Warrican his fifth wicket of the series and making him his side's leading wicket-taker over the three Tests.

The West Indies earlier reached their highest score of the series before being dismissed at lunch.

It was the first time the West Indies had passed 300 in their last nine Test innings against Australia.

Spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe each took three wickets to finish off the first innings which had remained on hold since Monday after two days of unrelenting rain.

Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin pushed his score to 62 after the West Indies surprised by deciding to bat on and not declare.

Play finally got under way under sunny skies, just over 70 hours after the previous ball was bowled on Monday's second day.

Days three and four were totally washed out, making it the first time that two consecutive days had been lost to rain in a Test in Australia in almost 26 years.

Australia had already won the series and retained the Frank Worrell Trophy after huge wins in the Hobart and Melbourne Tests.

The players wore black arm bands as a mark of respect for the father of West Indies batsman Rajendra Chandrika, who passed away this week.