The year 2016 is proving to be memorable and record-breaking one for Australia’s David Warner. The dashing left-hander blasted his seventh century in the calendar year (highest by an Aussie batsman) as Australia thrashed New Zealand by 117 runs to sweep the Chappell-Hadlee series 3-0.
Following up on Warner’s brilliant century, Mitchell Starc (3/34) and two wickets from James Faulkner and Pat Cummins ensured Australia achieved a clean sweep in an ODI series for the first time since 2014, when they swept Pakistan 3-0 in the UAE.
Australia headed into the match after sealing the series, winning the first two ODIs. The hosts chose to bat but lost Aaron Finch (3) and Steven Smith (0) cheaply. Warner stood firm and revived the innings with a 62-run stand with George Bailey.
However, Bailey (21) and Mitchell Marsh (0) departed cheaply but Warner found excellent support in Travis Head, sharing a 105-run stand to revive Australia.
Warner reached the landmark in the 38th over when he glanced left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner for a boundary. After reaching his ton, Warner opened up and launched two sixes off Colin Munro. In the death overs, the left-hander was unstoppable as he notched up his fourth 150-plus score in ODIs, joining another prestigious club.
In the course of his 156, Warner smashed several records. His seventh century in the calendar year has put him in joint second place with Sourav Ganguly in the all time list. Ganguly hit seven centuries in 2000.
On top of the list is Sachin Tendulkar, who had a brilliant run in 1998 when he smashed nine centuries. Incidentally, his mark of 1894 runs and nine centuries has not been bettered till now. However, Warner has gotten his seven centuries in just 23 games while Tendulkar got it in 34. In the whole list, his number of matches is the least.
This was Warner’s fourth 150-plus score in ODIs, on par with Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle. Sachin Tendulkar leads the list with five.
In 2016, he smashed 173 against South Africa in Cape Town, which was his second-highest individual score behind his 178 against Afghanistan in the 2015 World Cup match in Perth. His first century in ODIs was 163, which he smashed against Sri Lanka in Brisbane in 2012.
Warner’s magnificent form has ensured Australia end the year on a high, after what has been a turbulent 2016. Having won the ODI series against Sri Lanka 4-1, they were whitewashed 5-0 for the first time in ODIs by South Africa. In the ongoing Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand, Warner’s exploits have given Australia something to smile for ahead of the 2017 season.