Perth, Jan 13: Opener David Warner brutalized India with a hurricane century as Australia took a giant step towards clinching the series on the first day itself after skittling out the visitors for a paltry 161 in the third cricket Test at WACA here today.
Warner pulverised the Indian bowlers sending them on a leatherhunt as Australia smashed their way to 149 for no loss with only 12 short of surpassing India’s modest first innings score.
At stumps, Warner was batting on 104 while Ed Cowan played the role of sheet anchor to perfection batting on 40.
Warner who gave an exhibition of how to play horizontal bat shots on a bouncy strip to score the fourth fastest century in the history of the game off just 69 balls.
He reached the landmark with a huge six over long on off Vinay Kumar’s bowling.
Warner’s ton was the second fastest among Aussies after Adam Gilchrist hit a ton against England at this venue off only 57 balls.
The world record of fastest-ever century is held by Viv Richards who achieved the feat against England in Antigua in 1985-86.
With openers firing with such ferocity, Australia’s problems with its top-order appeared a thing of the past. The hosts look a team galloping towards regaining days of their former glory.
From the moment he punched the last delivery of Umesh Yadav’s first over past mid-off for a four, Warner was off the blocks in a flash as he ran like hare between wickets to completely deflate the visitors who were bundled out for just 161 runs.
Virat Kohli (44), Gautam Gambhir (31) and VVS Laxman (31) got the starts but none of them could hang around long enough in yet another abject batting surrender.
AP adds: David Warner was on 104 and Ed Cowan on 40 with Australia 149 without loss at stumps in 23 overs.
Warner, the firebrand opener, sent India's all-seam attack on a leatherhunt with three sixes and 13 boundaries in his 80-ball innings by stumps.
The left-hander was felled by an Umesh Yadav bouncer on 80, hit on the left side of the face. He required attention and a change of helmet but immediately responded by hitting 4, 4, 2, 4, -, -, 6 in the next seven balls to race to the hundred.
He brought up his second test century in imperious style, lofting debutant Vinay Kumar into the crowd over long on.
Warner ran down the ground and leaped and punched the air in celebration as the 17,956 spectators rose to their feet to applaud the swashbuckling innings. He scored his first 50 off 36 balls and reduced his fellow opener Cowan to a mere spectator at the other end.
Warner's knock ranks behind only West Indian Viv Richard's (56 balls), and Australians Adam Gilchrist (57) and Jack Gregory (67).
Warner's other century was an unbeaten 123 in the second innings in Australia's seven-run defeat against New Zealand at Bellerive Oval last month.
While the India batsmen labored on the pacy and bouncy pitch, beaten repeatedly by Australia's all-seam and swing attack, the Australia openers showed scant respect to India's battery in cracking 19 fours and three sixes between them.
India never looked comfortable from the moment the dangerous Virendar Sehwag was dismissed for 0 in the fourth over of the day after being put into bat by Australia skipper Michael Clarke.
Only a 68-run, fifth-wicket stand saved face for the tourists, when topscorer Virat Kohli (44) and VVS Laxman (31) batted stubbornly, resuming on 73-4 at lunch. It took the pair nearly two hours, with Laxman taking 50 balls to reach double figures, and before long he too became a victim in the slip cordon.
It was Peter Siddle (3-42) who broke India's resistance removing the pair in the space of six balls and sparked the collapse in which the last six wickets tumbled for a paltry 30 runs.
Ben Hilfenhaus led the bowling with 4-43 while left-arm swing bowler Mitchell Starc chipped in with 2-39.
Sachin Tendulkar will have to wait another innings to score his 100th 100 as he was trapped lbw by swing bowler Ryan Harris for 15. Tendulkar hit three boundaries in his short stay and was dismissed by the pace of the pitch as he tried to hit across the line.