David Warner went out the way he began with a rumbustious innings to guide Australia to an eight-wicket victory and 3-0 Test series sweep over Pakistan in Sydney on Saturday.
Playing in his 112th and final Test, Warner was dismissed for 57 — just 11 runs from finishing off the job — and left the Sydney Cricket Ground arena before an adoring home crowd.
Marnus Labuschagne with his 19th Test half-century on 62 and Steve Smith on four were there at the end as the Australians eased to the 130-run target for the loss of just two wickets.
“We are in the entertainment business, happy to come out here and showcase what I try to do all the time,” said the 37-year-old Warner, who made his Test debut in 2011 and will go down as one of the finest openers in cricket.
“I started with Twenty20, tried to come here and emulate that, tried to play my shots and managed to get a win on the board.”
Asked how he wished to be remembered, Warner added: “Exciting, entertaining and, I hope, I put a smile on everyone’s face the way I played.”
It was something of an anti-climax when Warner, known as “The Bull”, was out — losing a review for lbw to spinner Sajid Khan.
Warner was congratulated by the Pakistan players, who had given him a guard of honour as he came out for his final innings, before he waved his bat acknowledging the cheering crowd as he left the SCG for the last time.
It was a typically aggressive innings from Warner coming off 75 balls with seven fours, replete with crashing drives and audacious reverse sweeps.
Warner scored 8,786 Test runs at an average of 44.59, with 26 centuries.
But he will also be remembered for his central role in the “Sandpapergate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018 and was a polarising figure.
Cummins hails resilience
The day was all about Warner, but this was Australia’s 17th consecutive Test win against Pakistan, having secured the current series in Melbourne over Christmas.
The hosts had an early setback when Warner’s childhood friend and fellow opener Usman Khawaja was out in the second over, lbw to Sajid for a duck.
But it set centre stage for Warner as he sought to put pressure on the bowlers and fielders with his intimidating gung-ho approach. His 37th Test half-century came off just 56 balls.
“I love the way the boys performed. It has been a great start to the (southern) summer for us,” said Australia skipper Pat Cummins, who was named man of the series for his 19 wickets at an average of 12.
“The boys found a way to get us back into the contest whenever we were on the back foot.”
Pakistan go home on the end of yet another defeat in Australia, but there were some positives.
Newcomer Aamer Jamal was announced as player of the match for his all-round performance of 82 in the first innings and 6-69 in Australia’s first innings.
“It’s been so long to get here (his Test debut),” Jamal said.
“I was over the moon, performing in front of this great (Australian) side wasn’t easy, but I stuck to my discipline and I loved every moment.”
Hard lessons for Pakistan
Mohammad Rizwan and Jamal defied the Australian attack for almost the first hour of the fourth day, adding 41 runs to the overnight score before Nathan Lyon struck.
Lyon switched to bowling around the wicket and Rizwan played across the line, edging a catch to Warner — who else — at leg slip for 28.
Jamal followed three balls later in Cummins’ next over, top-edging a pull shot straight to Travis Head at deep backward square leg for 18.
The end of the innings came three overs later when Lyon bowled Hasan Ali for five. Lyon finished with three for 36 and has 509 Test wickets.
Pakistan have still won only four Tests in Australia dating back to 1956-7 and none since 1995.
Captain Shan Masood said that his team “are learning things the hard way”.
Expensive dropped catches were a major issue for the tourists.
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