After Warner and Labuschagne’s heroics, Pakistan crumbled under intense pressure to finish the day on a disappointing 96 for six. Mitchell Starc was the star performer for Australia with the ball, claiming four wickets. Amidst all the carnage, Babar Azam remained unbeaten on 43.
The day though clearly belonged to Warner. Australia resumed the day on a near-invincible 302 for 1, with Warner on 166 and Labuschagne 126. After the latter fell, clean bowled by Shaheen Afridi for 162 post Azhar Ali taking the new ball, Warner went on to complete a much-deserved double hundred. His 361-run partnership with Labuschagne is now the highest ever in a Day-Night Test.
Warner had a lucky reprieve on 226, when he was caught at gully off Muhammad Musa, but the bowler overstepped. The maverick left-hander went on to smash his maiden triple century off 389 ball. Aussie skipper Tim Paine declared the innings after Warner reached 335, going past Don Bradman and Mark Taylor, both of whom registered highest Test scores of 334.
“It’s just sunk in to me that it is very rare that you get these opportunities. I’ll cherish this moment for the rest of my life, definitely. More importantly, the partnerships we put on. It just showed how much pride we have as a batting unit running between the wickets. If I’m doing my job well and putting the team in the best position, we’re going to win a lot of games,” Warner, whose career was under threat after a miserable Ashes, said after the historic innings.
The match also saw Steve Smith becoming the fastest to 7,000 Test runs. The former Aussie skipper reached the landmark in his 126th innings, breaking the record of the great Wally Hammond, who crossed the mark in 131st innings. During his knock of 36, Smith also overtook Bradman (6,996 runs) on the list of highest Test run-scorers.
Put into bat under lights, a deflated Pakistan suffered. Starc sent back Imam-ul-Haq while Pat Cummins dismissed Azhar. Then, after Josh Hazlewood had Shan Masood caught behind, Starc ripped through Pakistan’s middle-order, sending back Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan in quick succession.
--Renin Wilben Albert