AUSSIES INFLICT INNINGS DEFEAT ON PAKISTAN
Off-spinner Lyon takes five to secure back-to-back victories for hosts
AUSTRALIAVS PAKISTAN SECOND TEST: DAY FOUR
Adelaide, Australia - There was resistance, as there had been before, but it came when the game was so far beyond saving it seemed futile. Pakistan went right through to the final session before Australia finally wore it down and succumbed to another convincing innings defeat on Monday. A few positives aside, this really has been a bleak series for the visitors.
Nathan Lyon (five for 69) enjoyed a bit of personal glory, completing his first five-wicket haul against Pakistan. It will do his confidence much good, given the off-spinner's rather ordinary numbers against this particular opposition, and in a contest where everyone of Australia's bowlers enjoyed great success, it couldn't have hoped for a better launch pad to the three-match series against New Zealand later this month.
Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq began the day simply hoping to take the Test as deep as was possible. However, the struggles of Pakistan in the evening session came to the fore. It was a similar pattern as the first innings, where the night session saw Pakistan lose more than half its side before the Yasir Shah and Babar Azam rearguard.
But just when Masood and Shafiq partnership moved past hundred and both men brought up their half-centuries came their dismissals. The extermination began when Masood danced down to Lyon and, failing to get to the pitch of the delivery, spooned the simplest chance to mid-off and Shafiq flicked a catch to leg slip off Lyon where a fielder had been exclusively placed for that shot and one who was rather hard to miss.
Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed began to scramble together another partnership and the lead whittled down to double figures. Lyon continued to plug away, bowling better than he's ever done against Pakistan. When some extra bounce rapped Ahmed on the gloves and Marnus Labuschagne - finally - held on to one at short-leg, the Australian kitman could have probably put his feet up.
The finish, there onwards, was at least entertainingly Pakistani. Yasir Shah was trapped in front, so plumb that even if it was playing with just middle stump, it still wouldn't be worth a review.
Yasir, however, had a century under his belt and felt it was worth reviewing, if only to spend a few extra moments out in the middle. Later, when Rizwan tried to farm the strike and ensure they got through to the dinner break without any further damage, Shaheen Afridi decided to lash out at Lyon, skying the ball instead and giving the off-spinner his fifth.
The best bit of comedy was still to follow. Muhammad Musa drove one to mid-on and, for some reason, Mohammad Abbas believed it to be a cue for a single. By the time he would realise it was anything but, Pat Cummins was already taking aim. And just like Cummins so often does, he hit the stumps.
In Pakistan, however, the joke is unlikely to be much appreciated. While Australia steel itself for a series against New Zealand likely to test it more than this one has, Pakistan will have to regroup quickly ahead of a two-match home series against Sri Lanka. What might have otherwise been a celebration of cricket coming home has become very serious business.