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Warner, Khawaja centuries power Australia

Home side ends opening day of the first Test on 389 for 2, with Burns too doing his bit

Warner, Khawaja centuries power Australia - Cricket News
David Warner scored the 13th century of his career as Australia posted 389 for 2 on the opening day.
David Warner hit his 13th Test century, while Usman Khawaja struck his first as Australia made a strong start in the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane on Thursday (November 5). 

Australia reached 389 for 2, a record score on the opening day of a Test at the Gabba when stumps were drawn. Khawaja was unbeaten on 102 and he had Steve Smith, the Australia captain, not out on 41, for company. 

Warner's 163, the second-highest score of his career, came off just 224 balls. He struck 22 boundaries and a six during his knock, before he fell 17 short of his career-best 180, which he made against India in Perth in early 2012. It took a brilliant catch from Ross Taylor at first slip to get rid of Warner, off the bowling of James Neesham. The ball took the edge and flew above Taylor, who jumped with one arm outstretched to pluck a brilliant catch. 

Warner is now fifth among Australia openers with the most Test centuries. The ones ahead of him are Matt Hayden (30), Mark Taylor (19), Justin Langer (16) and Michael Slater (14). 

Warner starred in two massive partnerships during the course of his knock. First, he put on 161 for the opening wicket with Joe Burns, the opening batsman. Warner then added 150 for the second wicket with Khawaja to ensure that it was smooth sailing for Australia at a ground where it hasn't lost a Test match since 1988. 

Australia went into this match having seen a slew of retirements, with Michael Clarke, the former captain, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris deciding to walk away from Test cricket following the Ashes earlier this year. Under Smith, it made a bold decision of giving a game to Khawaja, who last played Test cricket over two years ago. Khawaja responded beautifully with an unbeaten 102 off just 133 balls, which contained ten hits to the fence and two sixes. He raised his century with a boundary to long leg off Trent Boult shortly before close of play. 



The decision to give Burns a chance to open paid off as well. Burns combined with Warner to give Australia a brisk start after Smith elected to bat. They took Australia to 100 for no loss at lunch. 

Burns brought up his half-century with a push to point off Boult shortly after the break. It was his third consecutive half-century in Tests. He eventually fell to Tim Southee for 71 when he was guilty of chasing one away from his body. It resulted in an outside edge and BJ Watling completed a diving catch behind the stumps. Burns had batted for 183 minutes and hit 12 fours in his solid 120-ball knock.

Smith, meanwhile, completed 1,000 Test runs in the calendar year.

Brendon McCullum tried to be innovative in his field placements. But on the day, New Zealand found no answer to Warner.

McCullum's side is looking for its first series win in Australia in 30 years. This is the first of three Test matches. 

To view the full scorecard, please click here.

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