Australia thrash Pakistan by 360 runs in 1st Test inside 4 days | Cricket

Australia skittled Pakistan on a treacherous Perth pitch to record a thumping 360-run victory in the first test inside four days with Nathan Lyon achieving the elusive landmark of 500 test wickets on Sunday.

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

Pakistan was blown away for 89 all out in the final session on Day 4 for its 15th consecutive test defeat in Australia after the home team setup a daunting 450-run target when it declared its second innings at 233-5 around half an hour after lunch.

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Pakistan’s top-order batters crumbled against the relentless pace of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and captain Pat Cummins on a wicket that had variable bounce with plenty of batters taking body blows.

Hazlewood and Starc snared six wickets between them, while Cummins nicely setup former Pakistan captain Babar Azam (14) before finding the outside edge of his bat as the visitors had no answer to Australia’s nippy fast bowling.

Lyon reached the 500-wicket landmark when he successfully went for a leg before wicket referral against Faheem Ashraf and was embraced by his team-mates. The off-spinner raised the ball to the applause of the Perth crowd as he became the third Australian bowler after the late Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath to join the exclusive club of eight players.

Lyon then clean bowled Aamer Jamal in the same over off a delivery which bounced no higher than ankle height to finish with 2-18 in his memorable test match.

Pakistan slumped to 17-3 inside the first seven overs of its daunting run-chase. Opener Abdullah Shafique fell caught behind to a brilliant Starc delivery in the first over as the leftarm fast bowler got his 200th test wicket at home.

Captain Shan Masood could make only 2 before he played a loose drive off Hazlewood and Imam-ul-Haq was pinned leg before wicket by Starc with another gem of a delivery that came sharply into the left-hander.

Earlier, Usman Khawaja fell short of his deserved century before he holed out for 90 as Australia looked for quick runs after lunch. Left-handed Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh, who remained unbeaten on 63, shared run-a-ball 126 with Marsh scoring his second successive half century at his home ground.

Resuming Sunday at 84-2, Australia lost Steven Smith and Travis Head in the first hour of the day as Pakistan’s bowlers took advantage of the tricky wicket and movement offered by the deterioriating Perth pitch to frequently trouble Australia’s batters.

After Smith and Marnus Labuschagne took painful blows on Day 3, Khawaja and Marsh also received nasty hits as the Aussies did their best to keep their wickets, and bodies, intact in a spicy morning session.

Khawaja reached his half century off 151 balls and Marsh lifted the hosts scoring rate with his some exquisite drives on both sides of the wicket as Pakistan was sloppy in the field with captain Shan Masood dropping a regulation catch of Marsh at mid-off when the batter was on 23.

Debutant fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, who took both the Australian wickets to fall on Saturday, continued his fine start to test cricket by getting Smith (45) leg before wicket to reduce Australia to 87-3. It was the second time in the match Shahzad had captured Australia’s premier batter.

Fellow debutant Aamer Jamal, who took 6-111 in Australia’s first innings of 487, got Head for the second time as Australia’s one-day international World Cup star holed out to Imam-ul-Haq at mid-off for 14.

The second test of the three-match series starts on Boxing Day at Melbourne, with Sydney hosting the third test from Jan. 3 to 7.

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