Lyon exults in 500th Test wicket as Australia crush Pakistan by 360 runs

Off-spinner only the third Australian to reach the landmark after Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563).

By AP

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Nathan Lyon joined the illustrious 500-wicket club on Sunday, picking up 2-18 on a seam-friendly Perth Stadium surface to help Australia bowl Pakistan out for 89 and cruise to a 360-run victory on day four of the first Test.= AP
Nathan Lyon joined the illustrious 500-wicket club on Sunday, picking up 2-18 on a seam-friendly Perth Stadium surface to help Australia bowl Pakistan out for 89 and cruise to a 360-run victory on day four of the first Test.= AP

Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 2:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 4:46 PM

Nathan Lyon joined the illustrious 500-wicket club on Sunday, picking up 2-18 on a seam-friendly Perth Stadium surface to help Australia bowl Pakistan out for 89 and cruise to a 360-run victory on day four of the first Test.

Defending a victory target of 450, Australia's much-vaunted seam attack destroyed Pakistan's top-order in the afternoon, allowing Lyon to trap tail-ender Faheem Ashraf lbw and celebrate his milestone before the tourists folded inside 31 overs.

Australia had declared after lunch on 233-5 in 63.2 overs, having posted 487 earlier and bowling Pakistan out for 271 in the first innings.

Pakistan's fourth innings run-chase started in shambolic fashion as they were reduced to 48-4 inside 15 overs before tea.

Josh Hazlewood (3-13) and Mitchell Starc (3-31) inflicted the most damage, but all eyes were on Lyon as he sought to join Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) among Australians with 500 wickets, and become the eighth player overall.

Lyon told TNT Sport: "It's something I'm pretty proud about. For a young kid growing up in the country in New South Wales, 500 wickets is a long way away.

A lot of hard work, but something I'm very, very proud of. "I was pretty confident about the review, everyone said the height was okay, it was just whether or not it was sliding down leg.

"Thankfully, it was three reds. "It doesn't matter where we are, 500 wickets is pretty amazing. To do it here and contribute to an impressive team win makes it a lot better," Lyon added.

Australia captain Pat Cummins told ABC's Grandstand: "It's huge, 500 Test wickets, all over the world, over a decade, in all conditions. He's been waiting for that one for six months with his calf injury and he has just bowled as well as he ever has."

The 36-year-old lost a caught-behind review in the 26th over, but got his man in the 28th, going upstairs again to send Ashraf on his way for five, with Hawk-Eye showing contact with the stumps.

The spinner held the ball aloft and accepted the embrace of his team mates, and then clean-bowled Aamer Jamal (4) later in the over for good measure.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan's debutant seamers Khurram Shahzad (3-45) and Jamal (1-28), outshining the more experienced Shaheen Afridi and Ashraf, accounted for the three Australian wickets to fall on the penultimate day.

Usman Khawaja (90) and Mitchell Marsh (63 not out) accumulated throughout the morning session and accelerated after lunch in pursuit of a declaration. Marsh, more comfortable as the aggressor, ended with seven fours and two sixes.

A mistimed cut by Khawaja to third-man prompted skipper Pat Cummins to call the innings to an end.

Brief scores

First Test, Perth Stadium (day four of five):

Australia 487 & 233-5 dec: Khawaja 90, Shahzad 3-45

Pakistan 271 & 89: Shakeel 24, Hazlewood 3-13, Starc 3-31

Australia won by 360 runs

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