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AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Australia seize control after dominating all-round display vs Pakistan on Day 3

Australia produced a stellar all-round effort to seize control on Day 3 of the ongoing Perth Test against Pakistan on Saturday. Nathan Lyon’s pursuit of his 500th wicket was delayed after bowling out Pakistan for 271 in their first innings, thus the hosts established a substantial 300-run lead in the first Test. Off-spinner Lyon remains at 499 Test wickets, securing figures of 3 for 66, while Imam-ul-Haq led the visitors with a top score of 62 as they were dismissed in 101.5 overs.

Australia vs Pakistan 1st Test, Day 3: Highlights

Australia, choosing not to enforce the follow-on, ended the day at 84 for 2 from 33 overs after setting a total of 487 in their initial innings. Starting at 132 for 2, Pakistan narrowly escaped a run-out situation with Khurram Shahzad on the first ball of the day, but skipper Pat Cummins (2 for 35) swiftly recovered, dismissing the nightwatchman (7) two deliveries later.

Imam, who departed unusually by dancing past a Lyon delivery, was stumped by Alex Carey after consolidating with Pakistan’s premier batsman Babar Azam (21). However, a pre-lunch collapse resulted in the loss of three quick wickets for 14 runs. Despite some resistance from Agha Salman (28 not out), Lyon claimed his second stumping for wicket No. 499 when Aamer Jamal (10) fell, creating anticipation amongst the 15,956 spectators for Lyon’s impending milestone.

With no regard for the occasion, part-time spinner Travis Head concluded the Pakistan innings by enticing tail-ender Shaheen Afridi into a slog-sweep, resulting in a catch by Usman Khawaja at mid-on. Australia faced a post-tea setback as they lost first innings’ centurion David Warner for a duck and Marnus Labuschagne for two, courtesy of Shahzad’s double-strike, adding an element of excitement to the contest.

In their second effort, pacers Shahzad and Afridi demonstrated a better understanding of the Perth Stadium conditions, utilizing the slightly deteriorating surface to bowl with aggression and limit the hosts to seven runs in the initial 10 overs. Khawaja and Steve Smith gradually stabilized the innings, although there was a moment of concern when Smith narrowly hooked Afridi over the head at deep fine leg for six. Nonetheless, they managed to guide their side through to the close of play with Khawaja unbeaten on 34 and Smith on 43.