Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc produced one of his finest bowling spells on Wednesday to put Pakistan on the mat in the third and decisive Test match of the series. Starc, who hasn’t been amongst big wickets in the ongoing Test series, triggered a batting collapse on Day 3 alongside his captain Pat Cummins to restrict the hosts to 268.
Starc produced a reverse-swing masterclass that ran through Pakistan’s middle-order. In a sensational collapse after tea on Day 3, Pakistan lost seven wickets for 41 runs — the last four wickets without adding a run — as Cummins finished with 5-56 and Starc took 4-36.
One of Starc’s wickets reminds many of his 2017’s jaffa which got the batter of James Vince in the Ashes. It was Pakistan’s wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan who became a victim of Starc’s magical reverse-swinging delivery in the third Test. The 32-year-old pitched the ball at the good length slightly outside off-stump and it completely beat Rizwan and hit the top of his off-stump to end his stay in the middle. He was dismissed on just 1.
Starc also got the better of opposition skipper Babar Azam, Fawad Alam and Naseem Shah in the first innings. He dismissed Azam and Alam with his reverse-swing while Shah had no answer of Starc’s toe-crushing yorker.
Cummins hoped a good day’s work would help them win the Test.
“I thought that we bowled really well,” he said. “We have given ourselves a really good opportunity (to win), really in front of the game and hopefully we will bat well and then take the last ten wickets.”
Pakistan came out to bat on the third day at 90-1 and reached 159 at lunch without losing any more wickets, but the second session saw Shafique and Azhar return to the dressing room in the space of 44 runs.
Lyon got rid of in-form Shafique in the fifth over after lunch when he forced an edge to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
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