Sports

Australia win Perth Test

Nathan Lyon took his 500th Test wicket Sunday as Australia dismissed a rattled Pakistan for just 89 to post a thumping 360-run win in the opening Test at Perth.

Pakistan´s unlikely bid to win their first Test in Australia since 1995 was left in tatters by the spin king and the home side´s formidable pace attack, who wrapped up the game inside four days.

Chasing 450 for victory, the visitors succumbed meekly with Lyon taking 2-18. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood both grabbed three wickets each.

After being left stranded on 499 after Pakistan´s first innings, Lyon finally reached the milestone when he trapped Faheem Ashraf lbw but there was an agonising wait as it went to review.

He then bowled Aamer Jamal in the same over, joining an elite club of just seven other players, including fellow spinners Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and Australia´s Shane Warne.

Australia declared on day four at 233-5 after Pakistan were dismissed for 271 in their first innings, in reply to the hosts’ 487.

Skipper Pat Cummins made the call after opener Usman Khawaja was out for a gutsy 90 on a deteriorating pitch after a 126-run partnership with Mitchell Marsh.

Marsh remained unbeaten on 63 after Pakistan had removed Steve Smith and Travis Head early in the day to give themselves hope, which quickly evaporated.

Facing a daunting chase, they got off to a horror start with Abdullah Shafique out for two in the first over, nicking an unplayable Starc ball to Alex Carey behind the stumps.

Captain Shan Masood, in his first Test in charge, did not last much longer, edging to Carey off Hazlewood to leave his team in dire straits at 17-2.

Starc also accounted for Imam-ul-Haq, trapping him lbw for 10, before Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel put up some resistance.

But that crumbled when Azam got an edge to Cummins on 14, with Carey again collecting.

When they returned from tea, Sarfaraz Ahmed lasted just six balls before he was caught by Marsh at gully off Starc, and Agha Salman was needlessly run out.

Lyon then worked his magic before Hazlewood cleaned up the tail.

Australia had resumed at 84-2, with Khawaja on 34 and Smith 43.

It was hard going at the start with cracks appearing on the pitch, with Pakistan’s pace bowlers beating the bat and causing problems.

Impressive debutant Khurram Shahzad got a breakthrough in the fourth over of the day, trapping Smith lbw for 45 with a ball that nipped back.

Enter the aggressive Travis Head, who stroked a straight drive boundary off the second ball he faced to signal his intent.

But he lived dangerously and a misjudged drive off Aamer Jamal went straight to Haq at cover, out for 14.

Both Marsh and Khawaja survived reviews in the same eventful Jamal over as Pakistan ratcheted up the pressure.

Marsh hit sixes off Jamal then spinner Salman to keep the scoreboard moving, before a huge escape on 23 when Masood dropped a sitter at mid-off.

At the other end, Khawaja kept grinding away to make a 25th Test half-century off 151 balls, accelerating after he reached the mark.

Marsh cracked a thunderous drive off Shaheen Shah Afridi to bring up his second 50 of the match as both men attacked the bowling after lunch.

Khawaja raced to 90 with some audacious boundaries before his luck ran out going for another big shot, caught by Azam off Afridi, which brought about the declaration.

They now head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test before the series wraps up in Sydney.

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