Warner’s farewell fifty guides Australia to complete clean sweep

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SUDNEY: David Warner enjoyed a fairytale finish to his Test career as his half-century spearheaded Australia’s comfortable chase of the 130-run target on day four of the SCG Test against Pakistan. Australia’s eight-wicket win, following victories in Perth and Melbourne, sees them claim a series sweep over Pakistan.
The day began with solid resistance offered by Mohammad Rizwan and Aamir Jamal over the course of the first hour. The two nudged the ball around to help Pakistan cross the 100-run mark before Rizwan (28, 57b, 1×4) eventually fell to Nathan Lyon. The wicketkeeper-batter, who ends the series as Pakistan’s leading scorer with 193 runs in four innings, inside-edged the Lyon delivery to Warner at first slip.
Pakistan’s woes worsened when Aamir (18, 47b, 2x4s) was caught by Travis Head at deep square leg while attempting to whack one out of the park off the bowling of Pat Cummins. Lyon did the honours of taking the last Pakistan wicket to fall when he dismissed Hasan Ali as the visitors were all out for 115.
Australia’s pursuit of the modest target of 130 was disrupted early with the wicket of Usman Khawaja in the first over. Khawaja, dismissed for nought, was beaten by a Sajid Khan delivery to hit his pads and was adjudged LBW.
The first-over wicket did little to deter Australia’s charge as Warner unleashed an array of attacking strokes to put his team in the ascendancy. He employed some adventurous strokeplay marked by the use of switch-hits and reverse sweeps to bring up the 37th and final fifty of his Test career.
Australia went to lunch needing only 39 runs more for victory with Marnus Labuschagne also growing in confidence. With Australia 11 runs short of the target, Sajid removed Warner (57, 75b, 7x4s) following a successful review of an LBW shout turned down by the on-field umpire.
Labuschagne knocked off the winning run, finishing the chase unbeaten on 62 off 73 balls with nine fours.
Aamir was declared player of the match for his stellar 82 in the first innings followed by a brilliant six-fer with the ball. Meanwhile, Australia captain Cummins was named player of the series for his series-topping tally of 19 wickets.
The post-match presentation ceremony highlighted by heartwarming tributes for Warner also saw Pakistan skipper Shan Masood presenting a signed Babar Azam jersey as a parting gift to the retiring opener.
Scores in brief
Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets
Pakistan 313 all out, 77.1 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 88, Aamir Jamal 82, Salman Ali Agha 53, Shan Masood 35; Pat Cummins 5-61, Mitchell Starc 2-75, Mitchell Marsh 1-27) and 115 all out, 43.1 overs (Saim Ayub 33, Mohammad Rizwan 28, Babar Azam 23; Josh Hazlewood 4-16, Nathan Lyon 3-36)
Australia 299 all out, 109.4 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 60, Mitchell Marsh 54, Usman Khawaja 47, Alex Carey 38, Steven Smith 38; Aamir Jamal 6-69, Salman Ali Agha 2-43) and 130-2, 25.5 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 62 not out, David Warner 57; Sajid Khan 2-49)
Player of the match – Aamir Jamal (Pakistan)
Player of the series – Pat Cummins (Australia

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