LAHORE: Australia thumped Pakistan by 115 runs in the third and final Test to win the three-match Test series 1-0 here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan batters once again failed to convert their knocks to big innings and only Imam-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam succeeded in scoring half centuries to put up notable resistance to a dominating Australian side.
Nathan Lyon emerged as hero of the Australian team with a figure of 5 for 83 while Pat Cummins also bowled brilliantly and bagged 3 for 23 to tame Pakistan batting line which failed to show necessary application and prowess to chase a decent victory total.
From Winning team Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green got one scalp each.
Australia had also defeated Pakistan 1-0 in the 3 Test match series on their last tour back in 1998 under the captaincy of Mark Taylor, while the current team under the leadership of Pat Cummins has also achieved this historic feat despite his team torrid track record in subcontinent over a last decade.
Australia won the series 1-0 after the first two Tests ended in draws at Rawalpindi and Karachi respectively.
Australia, the top-ranked Test team in the world, will maintain its firm grip on the top spot of the World Test Championship table. Usman Khawaja was the star with the bat for Australia in the final Test as he contributed with scores of 91 and 104.
Australia posted 391 on the board in their first innings with Khawaja hitting 91 and Green 79. Naseem emerged as top wicket-taker with the figure of 4 for 58 and in their second innings, they scored 227-3 for 3 declared and this time in-form Usman Khawaja completed his brilliant century scoring unbeaten 104 while opener David Warner hammered 51. Naseem could take only one wicket.
Pakistan, in their first innings, were bowled out for 268 with opener Abdullah Shafique smashing 81. Pat Cummins was key wicket-taker for Australia with 5-56 and Starc also bowled well and grabbed 4 for 33.
Earlier, Pakistan, chasing a target of 351.
resumed the last day from the overnight score of 73 for no loss. They couldn’t start well as they lost their very first wicket at 77-1, when Abdullah Shafique was sent packing by Green caught by Carey, when he was playing at 27. Veteran batter Azhar Ali this time failed to score big and was trapped by Lyon at his personal score of 17 runs and at that time, Pakistan were struggling at 105-2.
When the second session started, the visitors’ bowlers put extra pressure on Pakistani batters as off-spinner Nathan Lyon took the key wicket of a settled batter Imam (70), while Pat Cummins took the scalp of Fawad Alam (11) and Mohamamd Rizwan (0). Imam was caught at short-leg by Marnus Labuschagne after he failed to play a turning delivery from Lyon. He went for the review, but the snicko meter showed a spike as he was forced to walk back.
After that, Fawad who has been out of touch in this series, once again failed to play an important knock when his team it the most, as he was removed lbw by Cummins. Mohammad Rizwan also gifted his wicket cheaply and got out on the sixth ball after he didn’t went up for the review as the replay showed the Impact was outside.
Captain Babar and spinner Sajid Khan then started batting sensibly and also negated pressure from Aussie bowlers very well. Babar survived a scare on the second last ball before tea as Travis Head failed to take a catch. At this crucial time, Pakistan seemed to go for draw instead of struggling for victory and all the responsibility was on the shoulders of skipper Babar, who once again needed to play a similar inning just like the 2nd Test to save Pakistan from losing the series.
For the sixth-wicket partnership, Babar and Sajid could add just 8 runs and this time, it was captain Babar who was caught by Smith at the ball of magical Lyon. He was the second man of the Team Green, who managed a half century by scoring 55 runs hitting 6 boundaries. After captain Babar’s departure, the wickets of the hosts fell like nine-pin balls and all the team was bowled out for 235. Only Sajid Khan (21) and Hasan (13) could cross the double figures.
Pakistan: Imam Ul Haq, Abdullah Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (C), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah.
Australia: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon.