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Cricket news - Warner, Burns help Australia intensify stranglehold

David Warner went to Tea at 99*

Australia intensified their stranglehold on Pakistan stretching the opening stand to 195 as David Warner and Joe Burns led the way bereft of much fuss on the second day at the Gabba. In his first Test at home since returning to cricket, Warner closed in on a century, going to Tea one short, while Burns was unbeaten on 88, as the pair ensured that another session went by in the day wherein Pakistan failed to pick up a wicket on Friday (November 22), trailing now just by 45 runs.

Pakistan came so close to breaking the partnership two overs into the session when Warner got an inside edge, going after a wide one that he could've left. He was even given out, with the teenager Naseem Shah picking up his maiden Test wicket. But the bowler had overstepped by quite a distance and he survived. Later in the session, Pakistan would've hoped that the direct hit from the deep would've caught Warner short, but he had just about made it in time. He was also dropped at short leg when on 49, looking to work a ball away, and nearly even dragged one back on soon after. However, he made his chances count and closed in on another Test century.

Pakistan bowled with much more discipline in the first hour after Lunch as the Australian openers were made to work hard for their runs, with the boundaries drying up. However, Warner's reprieve seemed to have had a bearing on Pakistan's morale eventually. Their body language seemed to fall flat, fielding was not as good as it was at the start of the day, as the Australian pair powered on, with the runs beginning to flow in.

Burns used his feet well, attacking the spinners, while Warner punished anything that had a bit of width. He pierced the gaps, playing through the covers, cutting and driving to perfect timing. Burns, on home turf, having been recalled to the side made the opportunity count too as the pair's positive intent shone through from the start, picking out the quick singles and converting the ones to twos. There was no spin for the slower bowlers, and no swing for the pacers, which the Australian batsmen made the most of. This was Burns's second fifty in the last three Test innings for Australia.

Burns played the patient game after returning to the side. He edged the first ball he faced that fell short of the 'keeper and nearly fell to a reflex shy at the stumps from Shan Masood at short leg. Even a dive wouldn't have saved Burns, but the stumps were untouched. There was no swing or movement in the morning either. The bowling was inconsistent and they bowled far too short and wide and let the openers get away. Naseem bowled quick and in the late 140 kmps, but the Australian pair were firm in their reply to share an unbeaten century stand.

Brief scores: Pakistan 240 (Azhar Ali 39, Shan Masood 27, Asad Shafiq 76; Mitchell Stars 4-52, Josh Hazlewood 2-46, Pat Cummins 3-60) lead Australia 195 for no loss (David Warner 99*, Joe Burns 88*) by 45 runs.

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