Australia win first series in Pakistan in 24 years, crush hosts by 115 runs at Lahore in 3rd Test
Australia crushed Pakistan by a huge margin of 115 runs in the third and final Test played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to win their first-ever series in the Asian country in 24 years by 1-0, with the first two tests at Rawalpindi and Karachi ending in disappointing draws.
Nathan Lyon was the hero for Australia on the final day of the third Test with the right-arm off spinner returning with 5/83 to power his side to a huge victory in challenging conditions.
Pakistan had resumed play on the fifth and final day of the third Test at a strong position of 73/0 chasing 351 to win, with all four results possible at the start of play. However, Pakistan were bowled out for 235 in the final session with Pat Cummins returning with magical numbers of 15.1-6-23-3 whereas Mitchell Starc doing his part with 1/53 from his 17 overs.
But it all began with all-rounder Cameron Green snaffling his only wicket in the second innings, getting Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique got behind for 27, for which the right-handed opening batsman faced 80 balls and hit 3 boundaries and a six. The other opening batsman, Imam-ul-Haq batted well for Pakistan facing 199 deliveries for his 70 with 5 boundaries but Lyon ended his resistance, getting him caught at silly point through bat-pad.
Former Pakistan captain and No 3 batsman Azhar Ali was unlucky to have been dismissed off the faintest of edges that he got while trying to sleep a delivery from Lyon, with the right-hander making only 17 from 47 balls with a couple of boundaries.
Once again, Pakistan captain Babar Azam showcased his class making a fluent 55 from 104 balls but it was beyond Pakistan to keep the Australian bowlers I’m not making inroads. Azam was dismissed by Lyon, caught by Steve Smith at first slip.
The senior Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam was trapped leg before by Cummins for 11, who also accounted for wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan with the batsman the mistake of not going for DRS call with the replays showing that the ball had hit him on the boots outside the line of the of the off-stump.
Starc accounted for Pakistan spinner Sajid Khan who showed great intent in his short innings of 21, for which he faced 47 balls and cracked four boundaries. Towards the end, Hasan Ali smacked a six and a four but all that went in vain as Lyon dismissed him for a 17-ball 13.
Cummins claimed the final wicket when he cleaned up Pakistan No 11 Naseem Shah to record a huge victory and lay his hands on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy for the first time since 1998.
While Lyon was named the man of the match for his superb spell in the second innings, Usman Khawaja was named the man of the series having scored 496 runs in three matches with the help of two centuries and as many half-centuries.
The two teams will now be engaged in a three-match ODI series starting on March 29 in Lahore, which will also host the remaining two matches on March 31 and April 2. They will also play a solitary T20 international at the same venue on April 5.