Here’s the match report, if you’re catching up.
I think that’s enough from us, on a gorgeous Sydney afternoon. We’ll be back with the OBO when West Indies arrive in Adelaide for the next Test assignment. Cheers to Angus Fontaine and Jonathan Howcroft for taking the controls with me, and thanks to you for your messages and feedback. We’ll see you soon.
It’s been an entertaining series. Pakistan played better than a 3-0 result suggests. They could and probably should have won a Test, either in Melbourne or Sydney, but Australia were good enough to dislodge their grip at those key moments. They did that with a lot of injuries and absences, and with a very inexperienced group especially of bowlers. Aamer Jamal was the star, and here’s hoping he goes on to a significant Test career. Shan Masood has his shortcomings with the bat and tactically, but at times led in both facets with style. Rizwan was a good pick to return to the side, and Salman Agha played really well too.
The resurgence of Mitch Marsh was a lot of fun. Travis Head wasn’t much needed after some dominant performances in 2023. Pat Cummins was player of the series for a reason. And this incredibly resilient bowling quartet of Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon notched three more matches together.
Warner has a long hug with his wife down near the boundary edge, then goes to greet his parents and friends who are milling about.
Daphne hands over the huge cup, the players come up to join their captain, and green and gold streamers shower over the stage and the SCG turf.
“I’ve heard it’s Davey’s last Test match, apparently?” says Cummins in laconic style. “It’s going to be hard to replace Davey, he’s played basically every Test match for the past dozen years, he’s a huge personality, he sets the game up with the way he plays every time he walks out. We’ll enjoy the next day or so while we’ve still got him around.”
“Huge series for Mitchy (Marsh). In every Test contributed with the bat, and a couple of key wickets at key moments. He’s thriving, and showing how good he is, and a guy who puts pressure back onto the opposition.”
“The beauty of Test cricket, late in the day, you feel like the whole stadium’s erupting, it’s one of those moments. Joshy has bowled beautifully all series without as much reward as he might have deserved, so it was a great moment.”
Of the triple-wicket maiden last night.
“Having them four down in that first session on day one was big, that set the game up,” says Cummins. “You can’t just survive out there, you have to be putting pressure back onto the bowlers. The way Davey and Marn went about it was tremendous.”
Finally, a bowler wins player of the series. Cummins is called up, shaking hands with Daphne Benaud, who will present the Benaud-Qadir Trophy on behalf of her late husband Richie.
The crowd has been allowed onto the ground, behind ropes near the podium, to watch the presentations. That’s a nice touch.
“If we could give a token of appreciation and a parting gift,” says Shan Masood, as he asks Warner to come up to the stage and receive one of Babar’s Test shirts that the Pakistan squad members have all signed.
“We’re in the entertainment business, and I’m just happy to come out here and showcase what I try to do all the time. I started with the Twenty20 and try to come out here and emulate that, I tried to play my shots and go out the way that I had to play, and managed to get a win on the board.”
This morning? “Just a casual walk up to the cafe with the young one, get a coffee, and then into the car. Packed a wine or two, shouldn’t say that too loud, I’ll get in trouble. But yeah, nah, I felt happy, and really really proud. To come here in front of your home crowd, with the support they’ve shown me and the Australian cricket team over my last decade or my career, I can’t thank you guys enough. Without you we’re not able to do what we do. It’s really really much appreciated.”
“I think their ears are going to get a break in the change rooms, so that’s great,” he says of his fast-bowling colleagues. “These guys work their backsides off, the engine room, the big three quicks plus Mitchell Marsh, they work tirelessly in the nets and in the gym, and to stay on the park, the physios and the staff who are behind that is outstanding. I don’t have to face them ever again in the nets, which I don’t do anyway. So that helps.”
Warner is having a post-match chat.
“It’s pretty much a dream come true, to win 3-0 and to cap off an amazing couple of years with the Australian cricket team, on the back of the World Test Championship win, Ashes draw, and the World Cup, and to come here and finish 3-0is an outstanding achievement, and I’m just proud to be with a bunch of fantastic cricketers here.”
Pat Cummins finishes the series with 19 wickets at an average of 12, Aamer Jamal with 18 at an average of 20. Plus 143 runs at 28 for Jamal.
Mitch Marsh topped the runs with 344 at 86. Second was Warner, 299 at 49.83.
It’s a walkoff. It’s a whitewash. It’s not a walkover, Pakistan fought hard for periods in all three Tests, but ultimately their batting had a fragility that was overwhelmed by the quality of Australia’s bowling at crucial times, and their fielding lapses let down their bowling too often.
A full set of World Test Championship points banked for Australia.
25.5 overs: Australia 130-2 (Labuschagne 62, Smith 4) Labuschagne keeps cruising along, glancing Jamal for a couple before gliding with some risk past the cordon for four. Australia move within one run, the crowd geeing them on. The winning shot doesn’t come next ball, cramped by Jamal and squeezed to mid off, but it comes after that, lashed away square of the wicket, and that will be that.
25th over: Australia 123-2 (Labuschagne 55, Smith 4) No time wasted for Steve Smith, who laces his first ball through cover for four. On his way out he met Warner on the boundary and the two shared a long hug. They’ve been mainstays of one another’s careers, for better and for worse.
Pakistan get the man of the moment!
An early change of strike from Labuschagne here, driving Sajid down the ground, then Warner is nearly stumped, coming down and then realising he wasn’t to the pitch, scrambling his bat back just in time. He gets on the front foot to block the next ball and it’s pad first, again Sajid is appealing furiously! Waves his hands in disbelief when the appeal doesn’t go his way. The umpires have their hands in their pockets with Warner on strike.
Around the wicket to the left-hander, the off-break doesn’t have much turn on it, it’s angling towards leg stump on the review footage. But hitting enough!
That’s it. It’s all over. Warner walks from the field as a Test cricketer for the final time, with Sajid running over to shake his hand after celebrating his dismissal. Warner does the normal trudge until about two thirds of the way off the field, then seems to realise that the applause is cascading down. He stops for a moment, spreads his arms out, and raises his bat to the crowd. Then he disappears up the steps, and the moment is gone.
24th over: Australia 118-1 (Warner 57, Labuschagne 53) After a while, Warner starts an over on strike. Smashes one into the ground towards cover, no run, then aims a big on drive but catches the inside half, dragging it into the gap at midwicket for a couple of runs. Dials back the ambition dial next ball and just nudges to point for one. That lets Labuschagne clip Jamal nicely off his pads, and despite a desperate sprawl at deep midwicket it’s four. Labuschagne pulls a run from the last ball and steals the strike again.
23rd over: Australia 110-1 (Warner 54, Labuschagne 49) Nope, no reading. Labuschagne shuffles down to Sajid and drives him through cover for four. Wants a fifty of his own here, and fair enough. Nearly ends on 49 though, as he pops the ball up to short leg, but it was all pad.
22nd over: Australia 106-1 (Warner 54, Labuschagne 45) Jamal to Labuschagne, who takes a few balls to get in behind the line and play carefully. Dabs a run from the fifth ball. Read the room, Marnus.
Kate emails in, asking why Jamal was used so late in the innings. Well, opening with Sajid worked, and Hamza is the main swing weapon in this side so he did need a try with the new ball. But yes, I would have had Jamal on instead of Hasan Ali, and had Salman into proceedings as early as possible.
21st over: Australia 105-1 (Warner 54, Labuschagne 44) Review against Warner! Sajid the off-spinner straightens it down the line and smashes Warner on the back thigh. Not out says Umpire Gough… and Warner survives by umpire’s call! It’s a yellow light on height, with the ball hitting about 49% of the bails. The luck goes Warner’s way where it didn’t go Khawaja’s. That was smashing the bails. Warner skips down afterwards and drives a run past Sajid.
Allowing Labuschagne to sweep and he’s dropped at midwicket! The captain puts him down, the ball at shoulder height, travelling but a comfortable enough position.
Last ball of the over, another review, this time against Labuschagne. While the Pakistan players are distracted by appealing, the Australians scramble an extra. A poor return towards Sajid at the bowler’s end gets away from him and Warner calls Labuschagne through. And the review shows the off break turning past the leg stump.
Quite the over.
20th over: Australia 103-1 (Warner 53, Labuschagne 44) Jamal with one more chance to influence this series. He’s been wonderful. A couple more for Labuschagne through cover, he’s hoovering up the remaining runs. He finally gives up the strike from the fifth ball of the over, guiding away three runs behind point. The batting pair come together mid-pitch for a hug after that, not sure what brought that on. Warner cuts hard into the ground and gets a run to cover.
19th over: Australia 97-1 (Warner 52, Labuschagne 39) It will be Salman Agha to start from the Randwick End with his off spin, and he troubles Warner a couple of times – a leading edge towards cover, an inside edge to short fine leg. Finally Warner gets a run to that region more deliberately, stuttering his steps on nearly colliding with Labuschagne down the on side of the pitch. Nope, not a run, that’s a bye, the deflection comes off the keeper. Labuschagne reverse sweeps for four! How often would he strike a boundary first ball after a break? Wants this done quickly. Squeezes out a run to cover to pinch the strike.
The players are coming back onto the field for the final stanza of this match. One more round of SCG applause.
There is this aspect to the Warner story, too. Easy to forget.
Read Barney’s piece about Warner down the page, if you haven’t. It captures a lot of what was particular and special about him.
Thanks JP. What a strange day it is, waving off somebody who has seemingly always been there, for better or for worse. David Warner will get one more ovation from the crowd as he walks back out after lunch – that makes four of them all up, after he faced a single over on evening one, returned on morning two, and now has enjoyed this final day and a final milestone.
Had Labuschagne batted in his usual recent stodgy style, there might be enough runs left for Warner to have chased a century. But Marnus didn’t get the memo – and yes, that would have been a bit too cute with a Test on the line.
Australia’s morning, David Warner’s morning. Australia’s Test, David Warner’s Test. Australia’s series, David Warner’s series.
There’s not much left to play out in this contest, but there’s still time for a 40-minute interval.
I’ll take this opportunity to take my leave and hand over to Geoff Lemon to bring the curtain down on this series, and the career of David Warner. Thank you for your company, I’ll catch you back here soon.
18th over: Australia 91-1 (Warner 52, Labuschagne 34) Sajid continues to toil as the former Australia Test players on commentary tear their hair out wondering why Jamal has yet to bowl. A single from the over, the final to be bowled before lunch.
16th over: Australia 90-1 (Warner 51, Labuschagne 34) Not to be outdone, Warner advances inside the line and whacks an in-to-out boundary over extra-cover. He then dabs Salman around the corner for his 50th run of the innings. It’s another opportunity for the crowd to salute the retiring veteran, who is playing a trademark innings. This match, as with the series as a whole, is going according to script. That was the 63rd time Warner has passed 50 in Tests.
16th over: Australia 83-1 (Warner 45, Labuschagne 33) Just as the previous Sajid over, Labuschagne comes down the pitch and launches a high straight four that’s almost a maximum – followed immediately by a reverse sweep. On this occasion that shot also goes to the fence. Australia are galloping towards victory.
15th over: Australia 75-1 (Warner 45, Labuschagne 25) Even Warner’s misses are coming up roses. He fails to lap sweep Salman but his body position denied Rizwan a clear sight of the ball and the outcome is four byes.
14th over: Australia 70-1 (Warner 45, Labuschagne 24) Sajid returns after an end change and his first delivery beats Labuschagne’s outside edge! Pakistan, with few rolls of the dice remaining, opt to REVIEW but there’s daylight between bat and ball. Labuschagne responds by sashaying down the pitch and lofting a straight handsome four that’s inches from a six, then elegantly reverse sweeping for three.
Just 60 more runs required for a series sweep.
13th over: Australia 63-1 (Warner 45, Labuschagne 17) Warner, sensing Salman poses more of a threat, advances down the pitch and mows a one-bounce four over cow corner. He then gets away with a bat-pad nick that flies just wide of short leg. Bothered? No chance. The next delivery is crunched through extra-cover. This is vintage David Warner, calculated risk taking, proactive, effective batting.
12th over: Australia 51-1 (Warner 33, Labuschagne 17) Labuschagne dabs a single to fine leg to bring up the 50 partnership from just 62 balls. Hasan does not look like making anything happen without the assistance of the batters.
11th over: Australia 49-1 (Warner 32, Labuschagne 16) Salman replaces Sajid and he immediately troubles Labuschagne, getting one to straighten past the outside edge, followed by one that grips and bounces into the right-hander. It reflects poorly on Shan Masood’s captaincy that he is into the attack so late – and that Jamal has still yet to be called upon.
10th over: Australia 46-1 (Warner 31, Labuschagne 14) Hasan finds a tidy line and length that Labuschagne is happy to play away for just the one run. Australia are over a third of their way towards their target, and scoring at the fastest rate of the match.
9th over: Australia 45-1 (Warner 31, Labuschagne 13) Warner’s now batting in white ball mode, dabbing Sajid behind point for a couple then securing four more in the same region, only this time with a reverse sweep. This is a perfect way for him to bow out.
8th over: Australia 39-1 (Warner 25, Labuschagne 13) Labuschagne is responding to Warner’s urgency in kind with another boundary off Hasan. The veteran then tries a reverse lap sweep, without success, but he is turning this awkward run chase into a day out. Pakistan are at risk of being blown away here if they’re not careful.
7th over: Australia 33-1 (Warner 25, Labuschagne 8) Warner takes a couple of paces and lofts Sajid over mid-on for a one-bounce four. He tries again at the conclusion of the over but doesn’t get to the pitch and spirals a top edge high towards that same region… is that the end? No! The ball lands just out of reach of the backpedaling Jamal.
6th over: Australia 27-1 (Warner 19, Labuschagne 8) Ricky Ponting is in disbelief on commentary as Hasan Ali, not Aamer Jamal, replaces Mir Hamza in the attack. Hasan does almost finds the breakthrough but Warner’s inside edge runs away for two instead of cannoning into his stumps. The bowler then loses his line and length and is driven square by Labuschagne for four. Again the proactive running is evident with this pair asserting themselves and the fielders not responding in kind. Classic front-foot Australian batting.
5th over: Australia 20-1 (Warner 16, Labuschagne 4) Warner is in the mood today, reverse sweeping Sajid for four then showing hustle between the wickets to put the pressure on the Pakistan fielders. His run-a-ball 16 might not seem a lot, but after Khawaja’s early dismissal it has released the pressure and put the onus right back on the opposition.
4th over: Australia 13-1 (Warner 11, Labuschagne 2) Warner is using his subcontinental bat this innings, the one with the sweet spot much lower on the face, and he finds the middle of it to thrash a trademark boundary through the offside. It is a perfect demonstration of the assertiveness Australia are going to miss at the top of the order. It’s not just the runs, but the proactive way he forces opposition attacks to change their approach. Australia could easily be 3-1 here but Warner refuses to let an innings drift.
3rd over: Australia 8-1 (Warner 6, Labuschagne 2) It all feels like day four in the subcontinent, not NSW, with a spinner opening the bowling, catchers around the bat, and Australians playing cautiously with their bats just in front of their pads. Some excellent running and calling keep the scoreboard moving but this is a nervy passage of play.
2nd over: Australia 4-1 (Warner 4, Labuschagne 0) Mir Hamza shares the new ball, the left-arm seamer bowling over the wicket to Warner who is batting miles outside his crease. Warner gets the scoreboard moving with a couple of pushes through the covers for well-run twos. Everything is set for the Sydneysider to go out on a high.
Off-spinner Sajid Khan is the surprise opening bowler for Pakistan and he begins by ripping one past Khawaja’s outside edge from around the wicket. Four watchful dots on the back foot follow, then OUT! The bat comes inside the line and the ball strikes the pad in front. The finger goes up but Khawaja reviews immediately. Was he struck outside the line? No! Khawaja has to go! That was line-ball on impact and ball-tracking, but because of the the on-field decision the umpire’s calls go Pakistan’s way. There was a huge puff of dust as the ball detonated the surface, and the batter was caught playing back when he should have been pushing forward. Pakistan are right in this.
1st over: Australia 0-1 (Warner 0)
Pakistan form a guard of honour and the crowd rises to its feet as David Warner walks to the crease for the final time in his Test career.