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'The Rev' delivers MCG batting sermon

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

David Warner's much-talked-about cricket bat has been put to excellent use as a club and a microphone at the MCG.

The Australian opener continued his outrageous form on Friday and almost joined an exclusive club in the one-dayer against New Zealand.

He belted 156 from 128 balls to rescue the Australian innings, which was reeling at 4-73 and finished at 8-264.

Australia went on to demolish NZ by 117 runs to complete the 3-0 series sweep.

Warner outscored New Zealand by nine runs.

When he reached his ton, a beaming Warner raised one hand in the air and brought the bat handle to his mouth, as if it were a microphone and he was preaching.

Warner explained the unusual celebration was a gesture to his teammates, who have given him a new nickname.

"Obviously my nickname - the guys called me The Bull and they reckon I've been tamed a little bit," he said.

"So they've now called me The Reverend ... I just do the celebration like that to the guys."

Captain Steve Smith did Warner no favours when asked about the new nickname.

"It was self-appointed, wasn't it?," Smith joked.

But there was also a sombre aspect to Friday's match for Warner.

He wore a black armband as a tribute to Laurie Heil, who died on Thursday.

Heil coached Warner from the age of eight until he was in his teens.

Warner's batting sermon was his fourth-highest one-day international score.

It featured 13 fours and four sixes.

Warner was given a life on 18 when Henry Nicholls could not snare a difficult diving catch in the deep but, otherwise, he was outstanding.

He was finally out on the last ball of the innings - bowler Trent Boult ran him out with a superb piece of fielding as Warner attempted a quick single.

Boult's direct hit denied Warner becoming just the 11th ODI player to carry his bat through an innings.

Damien Martyn is the only Australian to have achieved the feat.

Warner backed up from his ton three days ago in the win over NZ, giving him seven one-day centuries for the calendar year.

That put him equal second with Sourav Ganguly, behind Sachin Tendulkar's record of nine.

It also came as cricket's rule makers proposed a limit to the size of bats.

Warner's fearsome Kaboom blade can be as wide as 80mm, which is well outside the proposed new limit of 67mm.

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