Australia dismiss Pakistan in final session to win series | Loop Jamaica

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LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan failed to hold out in the last session of the third and final cricket test as Australia recorded an emphatic 115-run win Friday to clinch the series 1-0.

The hosts were dismissed for 235 in their second innings on a worn-out wicket an hour after tea as Australia enjoyed a successful end to their first test series in Pakistan since 1998. Australia claimed the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, named after leg-spin greats from the two countries — Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir.

Australia captain Pat Cummins clean bowled No. 11 Naseem Shah to secure victory on the fifth day.

Resuming on 73 without loss, and entering the final session at 190 for five, Pakistan collapsed against veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who got plenty of turn and bounce from a fifth-day wicket and finished with five for 83 from 37 overs.

Australia were rewarded for setting Pakistan a challenging target of 351 after boldly declaring their second innings at 227 for three. Pakistan had conceded a decisive 123-run lead after scoring 268 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 391.

“The way we batted and got ahead of the game (in the first innings) was fantastic,” said Cummins, who was man of the match with his overall eight-wicket haul. “The way we applied ourselves today, everyone was up for it … I thought if we bowled to our potential it (the 351-run target) was a long way away.”

Lyon bowled an unchanged marathon spell of 28 overs on the last day as the veteran off-spinner extracted plenty of bounce and turn from the fifth-day wicket.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq (70) and captain Babar Azam (55) scored fighting half centuries but the rest of Pakistan’s batters crumbled against the menacing reverse swing of Cummins, who took three for 23, and the sharp spin of Lyon.

“We tried to play positive cricket,” Babar said. “You plan according to the situation and not like you go out, play big shots and go for runs. We had a good session early in the day but unfortunately we had soft dismissals and that’s the reason we lost the game.”

Pakistan started to panic when Imam was caught close to the wicket in Lyon’s second over after lunch after batting for more than 4 1/2 hours and facing 199 balls.

Cummins then put Australia on the brink of victory when the pacer had middle-order batters Fawad Alam (11) and Mohammad Rizwan (0) leg before wicket off his sharp reverse swing. Rizwan failed to review. He should have done as the impact of Cummins’ sharp delivery was well outside the off stump.

Babar survived a couple of close calls as Australia didn’t go for referral against the Pakistan skipper before tea when replays suggested he had gloved a catch to Steve Smith in the slips.

Travis Head misjudged a sharp catch in the deep when Babar lofted Lyon to deep mid-wicket and Head couldn’t move in time to grab an opportunity.

But just like in the first innings when Pakistan lost seven wickets cheaply after tea on the third day, Australia ran through the home team’s long tail by claiming the last five wickets for 22 runs.

Babar did complete his half century with an edged boundary before edging a low catch to Smith off Lyon and Sajid Khan (21) hit three boundaries against the second new ball before Pakistan folded an hour into the last session.

Earlier, Australia had pinned down Pakistan to 136 for two at lunch, allowing the home team to add only 63 runs in an extended 2-1/2 hour first session.

Azhar Ali (17) was controversially judged caught close to the wicket by the TV umpire after the batter went for a sweep against Lyon and the ball popped out to Smith.

Onfield umpire Ahsan Raza ruled in the batter’s favour but Australia went for referral and, after several inconclusive replays, the TV umpire Asif Yaqoob overturned the decision.

Australia had made early inroads when opener Abdullah Shafique failed to add a run to his overnight 27 after Pakistan resumed on 73-0.

Cameron Green struck in his second over when he had Shafique caught behind as the batter tried to push the ball away from his body and got a healthy edge behind the wicket.

Final scores in the match: Australia 391 & 227-3 declared; Pakistan 268 & 235.

The first test ended in a tame draw at Rawalpindi where the pitch was rated as below average by the ICC. Babar’s brilliant 196 in more than 10 hours denied Australia a win at Karachi where Pakistan played out 171.4 overs in more than five sessions and forced an epic draw.

Pakistan and Australia start a three-match ODI series on Tuesday.