At Sydney, January 3-7, 2017. Australia won by 220 runs. Toss: Australia. Test debuts: H. W. R. Cartwright; Sharjeel Khan.
After coming so close in Brisbane, and falling so fast in Melbourne, Pakistan's capitulation in Sydney had an inevitable air. So did Warner's century before lunch on the first day. He had threatened it before, stymied by dawdling over-rates. But on this picture perfect Sydney morning, nothing would stand in his way. The SCG has grandstands named after two of the others to achieve the feat, Bradman and Trumper. Perhaps in time Warner will have one too.
Within six balls he had three boundaries, and a half-century before drinks, but this was no Twenty20 innings. His shot of choice was the back-foot punch, fed by Pakistan's seamers. The crowd realised they were watching something historic, and urged Renshaw to cede the strike for the session's final over. Warner worked his 78th ball into a gap and, thanks to a misfield at deep point, raced the last three runs. It was the fastest Test hundred at the SCG, beating his own record set a year earlier.
As Warner was applauded from the field, Renshaw trailed behind on 21, cool amid the frenzy. But after Warner guided a catch behind off Wahab Riaz, Renshaw took the lead; he worked his 201st delivery into the leg side for a maiden hundred, then raised his next 50 at nearly a run a ball. Khawaja had gone to a waft, and Smith to a Yasir Shah overspinner, but Handscomb and Renshaw put together a swift century stand, and Australia slept on 365 for three.
The partnership finished early next morning, but Handscomb - the second Australian, after Herbie Collins in 1920-21, to hit at least a fifty in each of his first four Tests - cruised to his own century without alarm. At the other end, the Zimbabwe-born Hilton Cartwright's debut 37 was notable for his first delivery, a cover-driven four, and the comfort he showed throughout two hours at the crease. Handscomb eventually fell hit wicket to Wahab, as he gave himself room outside leg stump and dislodged the leg bail with the downswing of his cut. Despite regularly standing deep in his crease, it was his first such dismissal, but it was fitting it should happen here: no one looked capable of dismissing him without a helping hand. Only Wahab offered penetration, while Yasir went from bad to worse, picking up one for 167. Smith declared on 538, allowing Hazlewood to remove debutant Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam before tea.
Azhar Ali and Younis Khan recovered, each passing 50 before stumps. But a run-out always threatened: one mix-up too many caught Azhar short, and Handscomb - replacing the ill Wade as wicketkeeper - finished the job. By the close, Pakistan were eight down, and 68 short of avoiding the follow-on. But Younis had survived the mess, and remained immaculate en route to a first hundred in Australia and his 34th in all, level with Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara. Uniquely, he now had centuries in all 11 countries to have hosted Tests.
After more rain, Hazlewood cleaned up the tail to leave Younis stranded on 175. The lead was 223, but Smith decided to bat again, and Australia put on a two-hour power show. Warner's 23-ball half-century was the second fastest in Tests, only two slower than Misbah-ul-Haq's against Australia at Abu Dhabi in 2014-15. Khawaja, elevated to open after Renshaw took blows to the head while batting and fielding, ashed in, while Smith and Handscomb produced Twenty20 knocks in all but name. Yasir's misery continued - one for 124 from 14 overs - and a target of 465 was remote. On the evidence of Melbourne, so was batting seven and a half hours for the draw. Sharjeel confirmed as much when he came out swinging, and fell to Lyon just before stumps.
Next morning, Hazlewood removed Azhar cheaply, then Younis was undone by Lyon's change of pace, 23 short of 10,000 Test runs. Misbah held on either side of lunch, but swiped once too often at O'Keefe, and finished with a series average of 12. Starc was too fast for Asad Shafiq, and the tail didn't last long; Sarfraz Ahmed's flayed unbeaten 72 acknowledged a foregone conclusion. Hazlewood ended it with his seventh wicket in the match, and 15th in the series, at 19 apiece.
When Pakistan rose to No. 1 in the world earlier in the year, few predicted this whitewash, their fourth in a row in Australia. Starting with West Indies in November, they had now lost six Tests in succession, their worst run. Australia had recently lost five in a row themselves, but a change in personnel had worked wonders. "When we all got together as a group for the first time," said Smith, "I felt a shift in attitude and energy and enthusiasm." They had turned their summer around.
Man of the Match: D. A. Warner. Man of the Series: S. P. D. Smith.