Bad light and rain overshadow Warner's farewll Test at the SCG

Australian opener dismissed for 34 as Khawaja completes 7,000 international runs

By AP

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Australia's David Warner plays a shot as Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam look on during the second day of their cricket Test match in Sydney. - AP
Australia's David Warner plays a shot as Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam look on during the second day of their cricket Test match in Sydney. - AP

Published: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 12:04 PM

Australia opener David Warner was dismissed for 34 in his farewell cricket Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday before rain and poor light ruined most of the rest of the second day.

Playing in his 112th and last Test, Warner was caught at first slip by Babar Azam off Agha Salman's bowling before lunch.

Play was interrupted in the middle session with Australia at 116-2 in reply to Pakistan's 313. The lights were on at the SCG and the conditions were gloomy, but the decision to take players from the field for bad light was met with boos from the crowd and criticism from former players.

Players stayed off for a further 40 minutes while 25,000 fans remained in attendance, before rain began to fall and the day was officially washed out.

Marnus Labuschagne will resume on 23 on Friday morning with Steve Smith on 6.

Australia’s batsman Usman Khawaja reached a personal milestone. - AFP
Australia’s batsman Usman Khawaja reached a personal milestone. - AFP

“It is so frustrating,” Australia’s ex-coach and Test opener Justin Langer said on Channel 7 television. “I have walked in all the shoes as a player and batsman. You want to be off and want perfect conditions, and then as coach you want what’s best for your team.

“But when you look at the big picture, it is crazy these guys aren’t playing Test cricket here. You have a big crowd here, they have come here for David Warner’s last game."

Warner will still likely have a chance to bat in the fourth innings of the match. He had threatened to go on with a big score on his home ground after surviving a chance earlier when dropped at slip by Saim Ayub on 20.

Resuming on six following a nervous one-over stay late on Day 1, Warner produced one of the shots of the morning when he square-drove Hasan Ali for four. He steered another ball from Hasan between slips and gully to the boundary, while an edge off Aamir Jamal also went for four.

But on 34, Warner’s time at the crease came to an end. Facing a ball from Salman that gripped and bounced, Warner was squared up on the crease and outside-edged the ball to Babar at first slip.

Warner walked from the field and quickly glanced back to view a replay on the stadium screen as he received a standing ovation from the crowd.

On Wednesday after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, Australia captain Pat Cummins took 5-61 for his third consecutive five-wicket haul. Pakistan's top order was again exposed before a lower-order rally helped the tourists to its 300-plus total.

Pakistan was in danger of being dismissed cheaply at 96-5 but an enterprising counterattack led by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan with a brisk 88, followed by a half-century from Agha Salmon and a maiden test half-century by Aamer Jamal helped Pakistan recover to a respectable total.

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With Australia assured of winning the series after wins in Perth and Adelaide, the lead-up to the match was almost exclusively about Warner’s last test. Flanked by his three daughters, he led the home team out on to the SCG before the match.

Brief scores

Australia: First innings 116 - for 2 wickets (47.0overs)

Pakistan: First innings 313 all out

Close - Australia trail Pakistan by 197 runs with 8 wickets remaining


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