Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Warner, Lyon lead Australia to series clean sweep
David Warner's epic triple-century and Nathan Lyon's five-wicket haul secured an innings and 48-run win
Andrew Ramsey at Adelaide Oval
2 December 2019, 11:30 PM AEST
For all the talk of pink-ball Test matches benefiting swing and seam bowlers, it was the finger spin of Nathan Lyon that sealed Australia's innings and 48-run win and Domain Series clean sweep over Pakistan.
On a flat fourth-day pitch that offered little to the quicks, Lyon (5-69) prised out the stubborn middle-order to claim the 16th five-wicket haul of his decorated career, before the pacemen roared back under lights to mop up the rest with the second new ball.
The Test ended in suitably emphatic fashion, with Pat Cummins throwing down the stumps from mid-on to run out non-striker Mohammad Abbas who had backed-up needlessly far.
Trailing by 287 runs and forced to follow-on, Pakistan initially defied expectations and their own top-order form to lost just two wickets in the day's first session and raise the vague prospect of taking the match into a fifth afternoon,
But Lyon put paid to that speculative scenario with three wickets in the middle session to add to his decisive removal of Pakistan's Shaan Masood (68) and his resolute batting partner Asad Shafiq (57) in the first two-and-a-half hours.
Australia's final winning margin - following their triumph by an innings and five runs in the series opener at the Gabba – represented the first time they have won consecutive Tests batting only once in each since their wins over India at Sydney and Perth in 2011-12.
Indeed, the only victory Azhar Ali's might rightly claim was the first session of the first Test at the Gaba, which they completed without forfeiting a wicket.
From that moment on, the two-Test campaign was fast-moving one-way traffic.
Pakistan have long been regarded as something of a Jekyll-and-Hyde entity when it comes to cricket performances.
But rarely has that duality been so starkly displayed as during their batting displays on either side of the day-night demarcation.
Admittedly they were compelled to bat against fresh fast bowlers armed with a new pink ball in the final sessions (and a bit) on Saturday and Sunday.
However, a return of nine wickets for the addition of almost 400 runs in daylight compared to 11-145 under the full effect of Adelaide's floodlights suggests that once the sun disappeared behind the members' grandstand, Pakistan's batters were left … well, fumbling in the dark.
The conditions they experienced upon resumption today were as reassuring as any they have confronted during this fleeting two-Test visit.
Morning rain had given way to increasingly lengthy bursts of sunshine, and while the chill south-westerlies kept the temperature 20-or-more degrees below what the Pakistan players endure in their 'home' Tests played in the UAE, the pitch was distinctly Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
With the ball already almost 20 overs softened, and the track offering neither lateral movement or pace and bounce, day four of what had proved a fast-moving Test loomed as one of attrition.
Opener Shaan, who withstood the tempest of Australia's bowlers and Adelaide's weather on Sunday night, revelled in the calm light of day as he and middle-order specialist Asad Shafiq forged a fourth-wicket stand that frustrated Australia's hunt for early wickets.
The left-hander had taken to Nathan Lyon when the spinner first entered the attack, thumping his fourth delivery beyond the rope at long-on, and three overs later found the same boundary to raise his seventh Test half-century in his 34th Test innings.
Unfortunately, Shaan has earned something of a name for his inability to convert starts into scores of substance – only once has he turned a half-century into the full celebration – and he added not-so-handsomely to the reputation today.
On 68, and with Pakistan looking untroubled having seen off the first spells from each of Australia's quicks, he advanced to Lyon once more but found himself too close to the ball's pitch and slapped a waist-high catch to mid-off, which had been set deep.
It was a breakthrough neither foreseeable nor explainable, but it neatly summed up Pakistan's forgettable campaign.
Soon after, Shafiq fell to a far-more cleverly constructed Lyon plan when he turned a delivery that was delivered from around the wicket and spun towards his ribs, into the hands of David Warner who had been stationed at leg slip for that very contingency.
Asad's resistance had briefly revived memories of Pakistan's previous Test visit to Australia three years ago, when he scored an heroic last-day hundred at the Gabba as his team threatened to chase down 490.
With barely a ball misbehaving on the unmarked drop-in pitch, it was the turn of all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed and keeper Muhammad Rizwan to take up the resistance.
The pair navigated a cautious course to the drinks break that marked the day-night's mid-point through a sixth-wicket partnership that yielded 47 runs from almost 20 overs, albeit with a few scares – half chances that fell just wide or just short of close catchers, and an inside edge that passed perilously close to the stumps.
Then, from the first ball after the drinks break, Lyon found some overdue luck when Iftikhar squeezed a catch to bat-pad where Marnus Labuschagne was sufficiently adroit to parry the initial offering, and hang on to the rebound.
That left Pakistan 6-201, requiring another 86 runs to make Australia bat a second time, with notionally only tail-enders to stay with the accomplished Rizwan.
Although the first of those was Yasir, clearly in the batting form of his life.
Yasir's hopes of a third century in as many innings – he conceded 197 with the ball, and then famously scored 113 with the bat – were dashed when he was pinned lbw by Lyon, his aggrieved call for review only confirming his fate.
The final three wickets fell for the addition of just 10 runs, and Australia will enjoy an extra day of rest and recovery before the first Domain Test against New Zealand begins on December 12.
Australia XI: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan XI: Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali (c), Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Musa Khan
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
First Test: Australia won by an innings and five runs.