Sunday, April 21, 2024

1st Test: Australia hammer Pakistan by 360 runs, Nathan Lyon joins 500-wickets club

Nathan Lyon
Australia's Nathan Lyon (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq (AFP)

PERTH (AUSTRALIA), December 17: Nathan Lyon achieved the remarkable feat of joining the exclusive 500-wicket club, contributing with two wickets on Sunday at the seam-friendly Optus Stadium track, as Australia bowled out Pakistan for a mere 89 to secure a commanding 360-run victory on day four of the first Test.
Australia’s formidable seam attack demolished Pakistan’s top order in the afternoon session, and Lyon trapped tail-ender Faheem Ashraf lbw to take his milestone 500th Test wicket.
Having declared at 233-5 in 63.2 overs after lunch, Australia, having posted 487 in their first innings and dismissig Pakistan for 271, set the visitors a challenging target of 450 for victory. Pakistan’s fourth-innings run-chase unraveled quickly, with the team stumbling to 48-4 within 15 overs before tea.
The devastating duo of Josh Hazlewood (3-13) and Mitchell Starc (3-31) wreaked havoc, but Lyon’s achievement took center stage.
Despite losing a caught-behind review in the 26th over, Lyon secured his milestone in the 28th over, dismissing Ashraf and receiving the acclaim of his teammates.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s debutant seamers Khurram Shahzad (3-45) and Aamer Jamal (1-28) outshone their more experienced counterparts, accounting for three Australian wickets.
Usman Khawaja (90) and Mitchell Marsh (63 not out) put together a strong partnership, with Marsh contributing aggressively with seven fours and two sixes.
The innings concluded when Khawaja mistimed a cut to third-man, prompting captain Pat Cummins to declare and set the stage for Australia’s resounding victory.
(ToI With Reuters inputs)