Nathan Lyon joins elite club as Australia whip Pakistan in Perth

By our correspondent
PERTH: Nathan Lyon joined the 500-wicket club as Australia crushed Pakistan by 360 runs in the first Test in Perth.
Lyon, already third on the list of highest wicket-takers for Australia in Tests, has now become the eighth bowler overall to go past 500 Test wickets.
The 36-year-old achieved the feat when he trapped Faheem Ashraf in the front to scalp Pakistan’s seventh wicket. He then dismissed Aamer Jamal three balls later to claim his 501st wicket.
Pakistan, already struggling with an imposing target of 450, did not survive long after that and were dismissed for 89, giving Australia a 360-run win.
This is also Australia’s second-biggest win margin by runs against Pakistan in Test cricket.
Earlier in the day, Australia pushed on despite the wickets of Steve Smith and Travis Head with Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh both raising the bat for half-centuries.
The pair accelerated in the middle session, before Khawaja (90) holed out to Babar Azam in the deep while on the attack. Captain Pat Cummins made the declaration for Australia after the dismissal, meaning Marsh finished on 63* from 68 balls.
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Australia made an early breakthrough in Pakistan’s second innings, with Mitchell Starc finding the edge of Abdullah Shafique (2) in his first over. Josh Hazlewood opened his account soon after by removing captain Shan Masood (2), before Imam-ul-Haq was struck in front by Starc on 10. They lost Babar Azam just before Tea, needing the hosts just six wickets to seal the game.
Australia maintained their pressure on the visitors taking wickets at regular intervals and nipping the budding partnerships between Pakistan batters early. After Lyon’s assault, Josh Hazlewood dismissed the last two batters in the same over to put the visitors out of their misery.
Mitchell Marsh was adjudged the Player of the Match for his knocks of 90 and 63* in the match. He also picked up the crucial wicket of Babar Azam in the first innings.
This win means that Pakistan have lost their perfect record on the World Test Championship 2025 table and have dropped down to No.2. Meanwhile, Australia are at No.5 with a PCT of 41.67.
The second Test between the two sides will begin on 26 December at the MCG.

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