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AUS vs PAK, 1st Test: Nathan Lyon joins Shane Warne, picks 500th Test wicket

Australia off spinner Nathan Lyon became only the fourth spinner in the history of cricket to pick 500 Test wickets. Lyon completed his feat with the wicket of Faheem Ashraf on Sunday, December 17, at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Lyon had to wait for a long time in the second innings to get to his 500th wicket. The spinner picked his 500th and 501st wicket while bowling his 7th over after Australia pacers had run through the top and middle-order of the visiting side.

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The spinner joined Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath to become the third Australian bowler to reach the feat. Lyon came into the Test match with 496 wickets to his name. The spinner picked up 3 wickets in the first innings, removing Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, and Aamer Jamal. The spinner toiled hard to reach the milestone in the first innings itself but Travis Head wrapped up the Pakistan team with the wicket of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The spinner has tasted most success against England and India in Test cricket. Out of his 500 wickets, 110 have come against England and 121 have come against India. The spinner completed his feat in 123 Test matches which is the 5th fastest among the 8 bowlers that have completed the feat.

Muttiah Muralitharan is the fastest to the feat in just 87 Test matches. The legendary Sri Lanka spinner who has 800 Test wickets to his name is followed by Anil Kumble (105), Shane Warne (108), and Glenn McGrath (108).

Speaking ahead of the Test match, Lyon spoke about the privilege of closing in on 500 wickets. He had also said that India’s R Ashwin had been one of his great coaches in his cricketing career.

“You look at Ashwin, he’s a world-class bowler and somebody I’ve watched closely from the start of his career We’ve gone head-to-head many times in different conditions around the world. I’ve got nothing but respect for Ashwin and the way he’s gone about it,” Lyon said on the eve of the Perth Test against Pakistan, as quoted by cricket.com.au.

“I’ve definitely learned from him. There’s an opportunity to learn from the people you play against, and without knowing it he’s probably been one of my biggest coaches in a way.
“It’s pretty amazing to see we’re both creeping up to that 500 mark, and we’ll see where we end up.

“Hopefully at the end of our career we’ll sit down and have a nice feed and a beer and talk about it,” he added.