Warner's final 57 helps Australia to Pakistan series sweep

January 7, 2024 6:20 am

[Source: Reuters]

David Warner was denied the chance to score the match-winning runs in his final test but contributed 57 as Australia cantered to their victory target of 130 runs to beat Pakistan by eight wickets and sweep the series 3-0.

Pakistan, looking to end a run of 16 successive losses in Australia since 1995, had added 47 runs to their overnight tally at the cost of their final three wickets, to be dismissed for 115 an hour before lunch.

Playing his 112th match before retiring from the format, Warner shared a hug with opening partner and childhood friend Usman Khawaja at the boundary rope and was given a guard of honour by the tourists as he came to the crease.

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Khawaja departed lbw for a duck in the opening over, but Warner played like a man on a mission and was soon cutting the ball through the covers in trademark style for his first four.

He brought up his 37th test half century with a single to square leg, and Australia went to lunch with the win all but in the bag on 91-1, 39 runs from their target.

Although not quite the pyrotechnics that featured in the early part of Warner’s career, there were seven boundaries in his 75-ball innings before spinner Sajid Khan trapped him in front with Australia 11 runs from victory.

A crowd of more than 24,000 at his home Sydney Cricket Ground rose for a final ovation as Warner left the field, his part in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal that earned him a one-year ban from international cricket forgiven.

“It meant the world to me. I’ve given absolutely everything to play this game and to sacrifice a lot of things to be in the position that I am,” Warner said of the ovation.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs through my career. I’ve had to come back and overcome adversity. I’ve done that, I think, very, very well. I think today just showed to me that I do have a lot of support, and I’m very, very grateful for that.”

Warner’s innings gave him a career tally of 8,786 test runs at an average of 44.59, making him the fifth most prolific Australian batsman of all time, behind Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, Mark Waugh and Steve Smith.

Marnus Labuschagne (62 not out) got the world test champions across the line with a single shortly after Warner’s departure.