Cummins, Starc destroy Pakistan’s batting as Australia take lead

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By our correspondent

LAHORE:  Australia’s pace duo skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchel Starc produced the gem of their deliveries in a sudden outburst as they ripped through Pakistan’s batting to take a 123-run lead on the third day of their third and final Test here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.

Cummins (5-56) and Starc (4-33) devastated Pakistan ‘s batting in the final hour of game as the hosts lost their final seven wickets inside 20 runs and were folded for 268 in their first innings in response to Australia’s total of 391.

Resuming at 90-1 with Abdullah Shafique batting on 45 and Azhar Ali on 30 both batsmen batted in control manner before the off-spinner Nathon Lyon provided the much-needed breakthrough to Australia when he  sent Shafique  back, held by  keeper Alex Carey, on 81. Shafique smacked 11 fours in another fine knock. Azhar, who also brought in his 7000 runs during his innings, went next just before tea, held excellently by Cummins ff his own bowling and that was strike which changed the game entirely.

Azhar struck seven fours and one six in his 78 for which he played 208 balls.

After tea Cummins and Starc produced the storm, removing Pakistan batsmen one after the other and were skittled out within no time to concede a huge lead. Babar Azam trapped lbw off Starc for 67 in which he hit six fours and one six. Babar faced 131 balls.

In response Australia were 11 without loss at stumps.