Australia’s veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon was still in a state of disbelief after completing 500 Test wickets during their thumping 360-run victory over Pakistan on Sunday in the first Test of the three-match series.
The 35-year-old walked into his first Test for Australia after picking up an injury during the Ashes earlier this year. He entered the Optus Stadium just four wickets shy of the 500-wicket landmark.
In the first session, he scalped three, needing just one wicket in the second session to reach the remarkable feat. With Australia pacers removing Pakistan batters at a brisk pace, it seemed as if Lyon would have to wait for another Test to pick his 500th Test wicket.
But he achieved the feat and after the game said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo, “I still pinch myself when I see my name next to those guys.”
Faheem Ashraf was Lyon’s 500th Test wicket, a quicker delivery in the air got the better of the pacer and after a DRS review, he celebrated with his teammates.
He was mobbed by his teammate and received a standing ovation from the Perth crowd. He became the 8th bowler to take 500 wickets in Test format.
Coming to the Day 4 action, Australia’s experienced pacer Mitchell Starc with his quick deliveries, removed both Pakistan openers – Imam-ul-Haq (10) and Abdullah Shafique (2) in the first five overs to put ‘Men in Green’ on the backfoot.
His partner in crime, Josh Hazlewood, ended skipper Shan Masood’s misery by generating some extra bounce with the new ball, which made it hard for the left-hander to play the angled delivery.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins sent former Pakistan skipper Babar Azam back to the dugout for 14 and after that, it seemed wickets were just a ball away.
The Pakistani middle order crumbled like a house of cards with Saud Shakeel showing some fight to keep the house intact. He fought for some time but eventually got trapped by Hazlewood, right in front of the stumps.
Nathan Lyon joined the wicket fest and picked up two as well to join the elite club of 500 Test wicket-takers. Hazlewood removed Khurram Shahzad to clinch a thumping 360-run victory by restricting Pakistan to a score of 89 with an all-rounded performance.