Nathan Lyon took five wickets to help Australia beat Pakistan by 115 runs in the final session of the deciding third Test in Lahore and clinch the three-match series 1-0.
The 34-year-old off-spinner took the prized wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam to end Pakistan’s resistance and finished with figures of five for 83 in Pakistan’s second innings. Pat Cummins provided ample support by picking up three wickets for 23 as Pakistan folded for 235 at the Gaddafi Stadium, chasing a target of 351.
The Pakistan captain, Babar, who had rescued the hosts in the second Test in Karachi with a heroic 196 in the second innings, made 55.
Cummins dismissed Fawad Alam and the wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who struck an unbeaten 104 in the second innings of the drawn Karachi Test, in successive overs with both batters falling lbw. Television replays, however, showed Rizwan would have survived if he had asked for a review of the umpire’s decision.
Australia also erred by not reviewing a not-out decision for a catch against Babar with replays showing the hosts’ batting mainstay had got a glove to a Lyon delivery which was taken at slip by Steve Smith.
Lyon should also have picked up Babar on 45 just before tea but Travis Head failed to hold on to the catch at deep midwicket. The off-spinner, however, went on to induce an edge from Babar, and Smith, who had a tough time in the field during the series, completed a brilliant grab low at slip.
Earlier, the opener Imam had looked the most confident at the crease for Pakistan, defending resolutely during his knock of 70 from 199 balls. He was, however, out straight after lunch when he got an inside edge to his pad against Lyon to be caught by Marnus Labuschagne.
The experienced Azhar, playing his 94th Test but the first at his home ground, also fell for 17 to Lyon after a decision that stoked controversy. Australia asked for a review of the not-out decision, and the third umpire ruled in favour of the touring side after replays showed a faint edge when the ball passed the bat, although Azhar was convinced he had not hit it.