The stage was set, and David Warner didn’t disappoint. Signing off from Test cricket with a century was beyond even him with a target of only 130 against Pakistan at the SCG, but he did the next best thing as a punchy fifty allowed him to raise the bat around the ground one last time.
He couldn’t quite make it to the winning moment, trapped lbw by the feisty Sajid Khan, but it allowed him a lone walk off the arena. The final tally: 8786 runs, average of 44.59, strike rate of 70.26, 26 hundreds and 37 fifties. He ends at No. 5 on Australia’s all-time Test run-scorers list.
“It meant the world to me,” Warner said of the reception. “I’ve given absolutely everything to play this game, and sacrificed a lot of things to be in the position I am [in]. Lots of ups and downs; [I] have had to come back and overcome adversity. Think I’ve done that very, very well. Think it’s been well received from a lot of people, and think today just showed to me that I do have a lot of support. I’m very grateful and very thankful for that.”
At the start of the day, Pat Cummins gave Warner the chance to lead the team onto the field when play resumed. “Thanks Dave” had been painted on the grass at the ground for today alongside an image of Warner’s trademark leap. He was wearing his original baggy green which had found its way back to the hotel the day before, after vanishing on the eve of the game. As is standard for Warner, he hadn’t worn it earlier in the second innings, but for his swansong as a Test cricketer, there had been little doubt he would give it a final airing.
There was a final catch, too, when he snaffled the chance at leg slip to remove Mohammad Rizwan. He has been a superb close-in fielder. When Nathan Lyon bowled Hasan Ali, Warner jogged off to pad up for the last time in his Test career.
And so, to the final act. Warner touched the plaque that honours Phillip Hughes outside the home dressing room. Then, as in the first innings, he embraced Usman Khawaja by the boundary rope. A few moments earlier, the pair had shared a more private moment. “He [Khawaja] said it’s been an awesome journey and one he won’t forget, and will cherish these moments forever,” Warner recalled. “I didn’t have anything to go back with because I was tearing up.” (ESPN)
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