Australia defeated Pakistan in the third and final test of the series by 220 runs at the Sydney cricket ground on the fourth day of the test match. These completed a fairly easy 3-0 whitewash for the Aussies and have certainly become a thorn in the side for Pakistan. Surreally this was the 12th test match on the bounce in Australia that Pakistan has succumbed to Australia. A sequence that they will wish to end as soon as possible but it won’t be 2017.
The match had started with THAT first day morning when David Warner tortured the Pakistani’s with one of the most swashbuckling centuries in the first morning of a test match that you will ever see. Reaching the milestone of a personal century in the first morning’s play has only been accomplished on 5 occasions and the last of those was 87 years ago. Warner pistol packed punch destroyed Pakistan and in the field heads had already dropped within an hours play of the five day match.
Warner’s boisterous unrelenting 113 came off only 95 balls in which he struck a whacking 17 fours. Anybody lucky enough to stay up until silly hours of the morning in Europe to see Warner achieve this rare feat will recount this for years to come. At one stage Warner had scored 87 while his fellow batsmen at the other end Renshaw had only scored 13! Talk about a topsy-turvy morning down under.
Funnily enough Renshaw was patient, cutting the loose balls and driving some great shots on his way to a fantastic 184 and for me this was the better innings of the two opening batsmen but if love 20/20 and want some hustle, bustle and blistering action then Warner’s knock was the one for you.
Aussie number 5 Handscomb also got in on the act of the free scoring batting with a century, making 110 before he inadvertently hit his own wicket. Cartwright 37 and Wade with a quick-fire 29 also added to Pakistan’s woes as Australia declared on 538 for 8.
Pakistan’s bowling was woeful at times as figures of 1-167 from Yasir and no wicket for 83 runs from Amir to rightly testify. Wahab was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 89.
With a mountain to climb as it was Pakistan pressed the hari kari button at the start of their innings when Sharjeel 4 and Azam with a 2 ball duck got the Aussie bowlers off to a flying start. 6 for 2 was not the start that Pakistan required with confidence in the team low as it was following their embarrassing second test defeat. Azhar and Younis steadied the ship and Pakistan looked well on the way to closing in on the massive Australian target. The pair put on 146 for the third wicket before Azhar was needlessly run out for 71. Younis carried on mercilessly attacking the Australian bowling but it was the other end where the trouble lay. Partner after partner fell in front of Younis as Hazlewood and Lyon made hay while the sun shone in the glorious Sydney sky and don’t let a bit of smog put you off. When Yasir was the 9th wicket to fall for a core of 10 it was foiled by last man Imran who was out for a duck just two balls later. Pakistan had fallen from the dizzy heights of 152-2 to 315 all out and Younis unbeaten on a superb 175 that included three sixes retrieved out of the stands and 18 fours. The Australian bowling in the main was decent with Hazlewood the pick of the bunch with 4 for 55, two at the beginning and two at the end of the innings. Spinner Lyon managed to get his claws into the opposition with 3 for 115. Australia had a first innings advantage of 218 runs and looked on course for victory.
In the second innings the Australian’s piled up the pressure even further on Pakistan with a rapid demolition of the visitor’s attack. David Warner seemed hell bent on another quick century but was bowled by Wahab. Those runs came from only 27 balls and included 3 sixes and 8 fours. Smith came out to join second innings opener Khawaja (I assume to give Renshaw a bit of a breather and a chocolate nut Sundae) and the pair obliged. Smith was out for a speedy 59 in only 70 minutes but Khawaja went to hit a knock of 79 and Handscomb a fast 40 before the pair called in for another Australian declaration. 241 for 2 declared with a lead of over 450. The Pakistan team was in trouble and they knew it knowing they had to bat out the remaining time of the third session and a full day 5. The big blow was losing Azhar for only 11 in that session and although they managed to see off the rest of the fourth day with no more wicket loss their backs were right up against the wall.
Day 5 saw the Aussies come out in rampant style and tumble out the demoralized Pakistani’s within 64 overs with O’Keefe, Lyon and Hazlewood sharing 8 wickets between them as the touring team slumped to 244 all out. This gave the Australian’s another large victory margin, this time 220 runs and worryingly for Pakistan they did not take 20 wickets in any test. The only plusses from the Pakistan point of view was Sarfraz Ahmed unbeaten on 72 not out and 40 from Sharjeel.
The 3-0 victory was Australia’s first series win in 11 months and they will hope their one day team is up to the test when they take on Pakistan later this week.