David Warner showed a timely return to form in his opening Sheffield Shield dig of the season.
David Warner showed a timely return to form in his opening Sheffield Shield dig of the season.

Warner exceeds Ashes haul in one Shield innings

DAVID Warner will be the first opener chosen for the first Test against Pakistan after scoring more runs in one Gabba Sheffield Shield innings than he did in the entire Ashes series.

Warner, who scored just 95 runs at 9.5 during the Ashes, looked a far more assured figure as he progressed to 100 not out in NSW's first innings against Queensland just after lunch on day two of the Sheffield Shield match.

Warner raised three figures by tucking Mark Steketee off his hip for a single before raising his bat in a slow deliberate motion which signified relief as much as joy.

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There was no signature mid-stride leap but a few seconds later he did a miniature version of it with a couple of skips and a jump for joy.

Warner (125) reached top gear with some rollicking stroke-play after reaching his century before falling lbw to Marnus Labuschagne whose zippy leg-spin looked immediately threatening.

Queensland had made just 153 and none of Warner's teammates had made more than 31, putting the merit of Warner's innings in context as he snapped the trend of this bowler-dominated game.

NSW were 5-201 after Warner's dismissal, the opener's knock the lions share of the innings.

The longer he batted the better his feet moved and you could almost see Warner's confidence rise by the hour.

A delighted Warner raises his bat at the Gabba.
A delighted Warner raises his bat at the Gabba.

There was no Stuart Broad harassing him at the Gabba but Warner must have felt he was back in England when lanky right-armer Cameron Gannon ploughed Broad-like lines and lengths from around the wicket with similar menace.

Three times he extracted Warner's edge. Twice more he beat the bat. Several more times he square him up defensively. But he could not land the killer blow.

Every moment Warner lasted was a boost for his confidence which sagged to boot lace levels in the Ashes and he is now certain to open the innings for Australia against Pakistan in next month's first Test.

Warner's body language, so subdued in England, regained much of its traditional pep.

Even the way he let balls go, with arms shooting skywards to take the bat out of harm's way or theatrically going down on one knee, radiated a more confident vibe.

His best strokes were cannon shots through the covers when the bowlers dropped short. When he went, he went hard, unlike England when he seemed to be caught between surviving and playing his natural game.

The cover drive has been rarely seen under these bowler friendly conditions but Warner rifled one to the fence off Gannon in the first hour.

Just before lunch he showed poise and subtly with a carefully worked nudge of a short ball threaded through mid-wicket for four.

Michael Neser struck early when he had Nick Larkin caught at second slip by Joe Burns for his third catch of the innings but it was a surprise when Burns dropped Nick Bertus off Billy Stanlake soon after.