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Australia wins by innings and 48 runs, sweeps Pakistan 2-0

December 2, 2019
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Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Yasir Shah during their cricket test match in Adelaide, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/James Elsby)
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Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Yasir Shah during their cricket test match in Adelaide, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Nathan Lyon had never taken a five-wicket haul against Pakistan. The veteran off-spinner hadn’t taken a wicket in the day-night test until the fourth day.

Then they tumbled. He took two wickets in the first session Monday and three in the second before Australia finished off a victory by an innings and 48 runs under lights to complete a two-test series sweep with more than a day to spare.

The 32-year-old Lyon (5-69) now has 50 test wickets at the Adelaide Oval, where he’d worked as a curator before making the national team, his 16th five-wicket haul in tests and his first against Pakistan.

The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood did most of the damage in the first test, which Australia won by an innings and five runs, and in Pakistan’s first innings in Adelaide before the follow-on was enforced.

Pakistan resumed at 39-3 on day four and took the total to 123 before Lyon came into his own on familiar turf with five consecutive wickets. Hazlewood picked up the penultimate wicket soon after the dinner break and Cummins finished off the match when he threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Mohammad Abbas.

Opener David Warner’s triple century set Australia on course for another big win, following his 154 in the first test. Marnus Labuschagne also produced back-to-back centuries as the Australian batsmen dominated an inexperienced Pakistan attack.

“To win by an innings, two games in a row, is an exceptional effort,” Warner said during a presentation for the player of the series award.

Australia captain Tim Paine said his team played “fantastic cricket” and praised Warner’s contribution as one of the best innings ever by an Australian batsman, particularly given the unpredictable nature of the pink ball under lights.

“It’s right up there,” Paine said. “I think we all witnessed something really special.” Warner’s 335 was the second-highest test score by an Australian — behind Matt Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003 — and in the top 10 of all time.

Warner had a torrid series in the Ashes, when he averaged just 9.5 in five tests and his position at the top of the Australian order came into scrutiny. Lyon’s returns had been down, despite him creating opportunities, until his burst of wickets late against Pakistan.

Lyon dismissed Shaheen Afridi to complete a five-wicket haul with the last delivery before the main interval Monday as Pakistan slumped to 229-8. The visitors added only 10 further runs after the break.

Azhar Ali’s lineup was 39-3 overnight after being forced to follow-on on day three, when they were bowled out for 302 to surrender a 287-run first-innings lead after Starc took six wickets.

Shan Masood scored 68 in a determined, 127-ball stand that ended when he advanced to Lyon and mis-judged a drive to mid-off, where Starc took a simple catch to end a 103-run fourth-wicket stand and make the score 123-4.

Asad Shafiq grafted his way to 57 from 112 balls before he was caught at leg-slip by Warner, trying to work a Lyon delivery square, as Pakistan slipped to 154-5.

Pakistan has been on the back foot since Australia won the toss, batted and declared at 589-3.

The dominance continued with the ball, although with Lyon taking over from the quicks as the main threat. He bowled with subtle variety and just missing edges while getting regular wickets and conceding few runs with the old ball.

The sixth-wicket pair offered some stubborn defense before Lyon had Iftikhar Ahmed (27) caught by Labuschagne at short leg.

He trapped trapped Yasir Shah (13) lbw in front with a ball that skidded and sped on and went to the dinner break midway through his 25th over when Shaheen was caught at mid-off by Hazlewood.

“They played wonderful cricket, especially David Warner for this match,” Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said. “We were beaten in all three departments (but) we take some positives.

“It’s very hard over here with a young bowling attack. We came here with a lot of expectations. It didn’t go well this time around, but I’m positive for the future. The bowlers and (I) have learned a lot from this.”

Pakistan will return home to host its first test series in a decade on home soil, against Sri Lanka. Australia will take on New Zealand in a three-test series starting next week in Perth.

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