AUS vs PAK: Pakistan surrender tamely on Day 4 as Australia take the lead in the series

The first Test between Australia and Pakistan at the Optus Stadium, in Perth, ended on Sunday, December 17, as the tourists lost by a mammoth margin of 360 runs.

Australia started Day 4 at 84/2, with a second-innings lead of 300 runs. It was crucial for Pakistan to go for the jugular from the get-go as they had already fallen way behind in the game. Pakistan bowled well in the first hour as they conceded just 36 runs and picked up a couple of wickets.

However, Khawaja crushed their spirits with a solid knock of 90 on a surface that was offering variable bounce. Pakistan didn’t help themselves either as skipper Shan Masood dropped Mitchell Marsh when he was on 23. The Aussie all-rounder went on to score an unbeaten 63 off 68 balls. Further, the home side set Pakistan a daunting target of 450 runs.

Pakistan tumble in the run-chase

In the fourth innings, Mitchell Starc provided the initial breakthrough. He dismissed Abdullah Shafique off the final ball of the first over. Josh Hazlewood got the better of Masood in the sixth over and fellow left-hander Imam-ul-Haq departed in the following over. Pakistan were staring down the barrel at 19/3 as Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel joined forces. The two batters put on 29 runs before the former Pakistan captain edged one from Aussie skipper Pat Cummins through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Wickets kept tumbling as Pakistan were staring at a heavy defeat. Shakeel top-scored with a 51-ball 24 but the other Pakistani batters couldn’t survive for long on a spicy pitch and against a lethal bowling attack. The ‘Men in Green’ were bundled out for just 89. Australia won by 360 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was a special day for Nathan Lyon as he took his 500th Test wicket when he dismissed Faheem Ashraf. Marsh, who had scored a century in the first innings and also picked up a wicket, was adjudged Player of the Match.