Starc bril­liance earns Aus­tralia se­ries vic­tory

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Mitchell Starc shone with bat and ball as Aus­tralia dis­missed Pak­istan for 163 to se­cure an in­nings and 18-run vic­tory in the sec­ond Test yes­ter­day, the win giv­ing the hosts an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in the three-match se­ries.

Lanky left-arm pace­man Starc smashed 84 with the bat, in­clud­ing a record seven sixes at the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground, then tore through Pak­istan’s tail with 4-36 as Aus­tralia’s bowlers snatched an un­likely win from a rain­blighted match.

Pak­istan’s ca­pit­u­la­tion left their cap­tain heart-bro­ken and af­ter fall­ing for a sec­ond-ball duck with a rash sweep-shot, 42year-old vet­eran Mis­bah-ul-Haq said he would con­sider re­tir­ing be­fore the se­ries fi­nale in Syd­ney.

For home cap­tain and man of the match Steve Smith, it was a golden day as he smashed an un­beaten 165 in the morn­ing ses­sion and watched Pak­istan dis­in­te­grate on a sun­bathed af­ter­noon.

Af­ter declar­ing Aus­tralia’s first in­nings at 624 for eight just be­fore lunch, Smith gave his bowlers 68 overs to run through the tourists.

In the end, they needed only 53.2 overs of the quota as Pak­istan’s demise has­tened against the re­vers­ing ball af­ter tea.

“I said to the boys that cricket’s a funny game and any­thing can hap­pen,” Smith told re­porters of his morn­ing ad­dress to his team. “I thought Starcy was in­cred­i­ble. “(It’s) pretty sur­real to have now wrapped up the se­ries. We have got a lot of be­lief in the guys around. The guys are do­ing the hard yards to im­prove ev­ery day.”

Pak­istan lost the first test in Brisbane by 39 runs but won ad­mi­ra­tion for their dogged fourth in­nings re­sis­tance, when they put an Aus­tralian record to­tal of 450 on the board.

Much of that ac­claim evap­o­rated on Fri­day as their sham­bolic bat­ting fol­lowed an equally abysmal ef­fort in the field in the morn­ing.


Pak­istan’s 52-year wait for a maiden se­ries win in Aus­tralia goes on and they have now lost four matches in suc­ces­sion.

“It was sheer pres­sure, I think,” a down­cast Mis­bah said of his team’s sur­ren­der.

“In the sec­ond in­nings, (Aus­tralia) bowled good, re­ally well... I think we should take the blame as a bat­ting unit.”

Aus­tralia spin­ner Nathan Lyon shrugged off re­cent form woes to bowl his best spell of the se­ries, cap­tur­ing three wick­ets in the mid­dle ses­sion, two of them in three balls to re­move stal­warts Younus Khan (24) and Mis­bah.

Rookie bats­man Peter Hand­scomb was out­stand­ing at short leg, clutch­ing two tough chances to re­move Younus and Asad Shafiq for 16.

Pak­istan went to tea on a shaky 91-5 and three overs af­ter the break, seamer Josh Ha­zle­wood trapped Azhar Ali, Pak­istan’s last spe­cial­ist bats­man, lbw for 43.

Pace­man Jack­son Bird bowled Mo­ham­mad Amir for 11 and a siz­zling Starc in­swinger ac­counted for wick­et­keeper Sar­fraz Ahmed for 43, cleaned up through the gate. — Reuters

PORT EL­IZ­A­BETH, South Africa:

Fi­nal scores on the fifth day of the first Test be­tween South Africa and Sri Lanka at St Ge­orge’s Park yes­ter­day.

South Africa, first in­nings, 286

Sri Lanka, first in­nings, 205 South Africa, sec­ond in­nings, 406-6 de­clared

Sri Lanka, sec­ond in­nings

(overnight 240-5) D. Karunaratne run out (Du­miny) 43 K. Silva lbw b Rabada 48 K. Per­era c De Kock b Ma­haraj 6 K. Mendis c De Kock b Rabada 58 A. Mathews lbw b Ab­bott 59 D. Chandi­mal c Rabada b Ma­haraj 8 D. de Silva lbw b Ab­bott 22 R. Herath c and b Phi­lan­der 3 D. Chameera c De Kock b Rabada 0 S. Lak­mal not out 19 N. Pradeep b Ma­haraj 4 Ex­tras (b4, lb3, nb1, w3) 11 To­tal (96.3 overs) 281 Fall of wick­ets: 1-87 (Karunaratne), 2-93 (Per­era), 3-118 (Silva), 4-193 (Mendis), 5-225 (Chandi­mal), 6-246 (Mathews), 7-258 (De Silva), 8-258 (Herath), 9-274 (Chameera) Bowl­ing: Phi­lan­der 22-5-65-1, Ab­bott 20-6-38-2 (2w), Rabada 21-4-77-3 (1nb, 1w), Ma­haraj 30.3-7-86-3, Du­miny 3-0-8-0 Re­sult: South Africa won by 206 runs.

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