Tweaky Blinder: Caps doffed for Lyon's 350th Test scalp
Star off-spinner becomes fourth Australian to reach milestone during England collapse on final day of Ashes opener
Sam Ferris at Edgbaston
5 August 2019, 11:29 PM AEST
Nathan Lyon's journey from Adelaide Oval groundsman to world-class off-spinner continued Monday as the veteran reached another milestone by capturing his 350th Test wicket at Edgbaston.
Lyon became just the fourth Australian to reach the mark after Shane Warne (708 Test wickets), Glenn McGrath (563) and Dennis Lillee (355).
The 31-year-old picked up the seven wickets he needed to join the exclusive club in the first Ashes Test in Birmingham, capturing 3-112 in the first innings before spinning a web around England's batsmen in the second innings with 6-49, his first five-wicket haul in England.
It was a classic off-spinner's dismissal that brought Lyon his 350th Test scalp – bowling around the wicket, he drew left-hander Ben Stokes forward, extracted his trademark turn and bounce out of the dry surface and took the outside edge of the bat on the way through to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
Lyon now has 14 five-wicket hauls and has taken 10 wickets in a match twice, while he was the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2017 with 63 scalps.
India pair Ajinkya Rahane and Chesteshwar Pujara have been his most popular victims, out nine times each, while England duo Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali have been dismissed by the tweaker on eight occasions.
Moeen has been Lyon’s favourite victim of late, removing him eight times in his past 10 completed innings against Australia.
Remarkably, all nine of Moeen's dismissals have come in the last 11 innings the pair have played each other.
So prolific has Lyon been that no bowler has taken more Test wickets than Lyon's 350 since he debuted in August 2011 against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Ahead of capturing his 300th wicket in South Africa last year, Lyon was asked to nominate his favourite Test wicket to date, and could not look past his brilliant delivery to the Little Master six years ago.
"One that stands out was bowling Sachin Tendulkar through the gate," Lyon told cricket.com.au in February 2018.
"I think all the videos have been deleted off YouTube so I can't watch it anymore, but I can tell you it was at Chennai (in 2013), a pretty good ball actually.
"There's been a few that stand out, but it's more about series wins for me at the moment."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval