Well, that’s that. Another Australia win in the Third Test saw Australia take the series 3-0 and bring an end to the Australian Test summer for another season.
Here’s the Honours Board for the Third Test.
The Simple Life Cup for Distressing Lack of Selectorial Imagination — The Australian Selectors
The Australian selectors made two changes to the side that won the first two Tests of the series. Out went Nic Maddinson and Jackson Bird. In came Steve O’Keefe and debutant Hilton Cartwright.
Pretty disappointing selections, really. If you’re going to give Cartwright a Test cap, how do you not simultaneously also give one to Joel Paris?
Come on, selectors. A Joel Paris-Hilton Cartwright pairing? That’d be, like, sooo hot.
The Hungry, Hungry Hobbit Honour For Ravenous Strokeplay — David Warner
David Warner shares many characteristics with hobbits - he’s short, he lives a simple, happy life and, of course, nobody knows what he’s got in his pocketses.
Here he showed yet another classic halfling trait, demonstrating his enormous gluttony. Unable to wait for lunch on the first morning, Warner feasted instead on the second breakfast of Pakistan’s wayward bowling to bring up a ton in just the 27th over of the match.
In the process he became the first non-Uruk-hai to score a century in Australia in the opening session of a Test. Obviously, he then stuffed his face again at lunch and was dismissed shortly after for eleventy-three.
The How Good Are Turtles? Trophy for Outstanding Slowpokery in the Face of a David Warner Onslaught — Matt Renshaw
While Warner was showing off at his end, Matt Renshaw wasn’t Mr Hate (as the anagram of his name suggests).
No, instead Renshaw just did Renshaw, amiably moseying along, the tall and patient tortoise to Warner’s un-tall and Toyota-sponsored Bizarro-tortoise.
And yet, just as in Aesop’s Fable (Aesop being a stylish number three in the Ancient Greek XI), it was the tortoisesque Renshaw who emerged victorious, ending with the higher score, bringing up his maiden Test century, and going on to make 184.
The contrast between the pair was so perfectly comical that it was almost cartoon-like. Presumably then, the entire partnership was, in fact, a new, subtler advertisement for the outstanding contrast you can expect from your cartoons when watching your brand new OLED TV from Harvey Norman.
The Blockheads Badge for Hitting Things With One’s Rhythm Stick — Pete Handscomb
The third Australian centurion, Pete Handscomb, lost his wicket when he delicately late cut a ball off his stumps.
No, sorry, not a ‘ball’, a ‘bail’. So close.
A sloppy dismissal in a Test match for sure. But in a limited overs game, hitting your wicket remains an underused ploy. Every time players have a free hit, the first thing they should be doing is kicking their stumps over. After all, if one of the only ways you can be out on a free hit is run out, then why not make this as difficult as possible for the fielding team?
Get Handscomb into the Australian white ball sides, stat!
The Dean Waugh Medal for Excellence in Emulating Steve Waugh — Younus Khan
Younus Khan showed once again in Pakistan’s first innings why he’s the Pakistan Steve Waugh, when he managed to be the not out batsman in a run out, the 17th time in 23 occasions (compared to Waugh’s 23 not outs in 27 such dismissals).
But it’s not just his ability to outwit, outplay and outlast his batting partners that makes Younus so similar to Waugh. There’s also their dogged and prolific middle order batting and, of course, their twin brothers who were also successful Test batsmen in their own right (Mark for Steve, and Younis for Younus).
One can only assume that the next stage in the comparison between Younus and Waugh will come during the upcoming Pakistan version of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here where Saqlain Mushtaq will spend every night bitching endlessly about him.
The King of the Kids Ribbon for Distinction in the Art of Dabbing — Usman Khawaja
When Australia batted a second time to set up a fourth innings target, it was Usman Khawaja who stole the limelight by celebrating his half century by ‘dabbing’.
Social media was abuzz, and now everybody’s wondering what type of celebration’s next. Will he Gangnam Style a half-ton? Kick-flip off his bat for a fifty? Will he worm? Macarena? Swap out a fist bump for a nanoo-nanoo handshake? Is a planking off the cards? Or an impromptu conga line with his batting partner? How about a demonstration of The Robot? So many options for Usman.
Sadly, Australia’s next Test series is against India in India. So we may never get the chance to find out.
The Pakistan Plate For Most Pakistan-like Performance by Pakistan — Pakistan
Pakistan looked on target for a three-peat of this award, but sadly, an unusually straightforward loss in this final Test of the series made them ineligible.
Although, from another point of view, failing to win The Pakistan Plate For Most Pakistan-like Performance by Pakistan in this Test after being overwhelming favourites to do so is, in itself, a sufficiently dramatic turnaround in fortunes to justify giving them the award.
So, congratulations Pakistan, you princes of paradox! A clean sweep!