Monday , February 27 2017

Australia decimate Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs to clinch series 2-0

Australia decimate Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs to clinch series 2-0

Melbourne: Australia destroyed a flailing Pakistani batting line-up to win the Test series 2-0 against the tourists, on Friday during the final day in Melbourne of the second Test match, on Friday.

Mitchell Starc tore through the tail and Pakistan crumbled for 163 as Australia won the second test in Melbourne by an innings and 18 runs after tea on day five to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Australia captain Steve Smith smashed an unbeaten 165 and gave his bowlers 68 overs to bowl out Pakistan after declaring his side’s first innings at 624 for eight before lunch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Pakistan stumbled to 91 for five at tea and surrendered after 53.2 overs, with Starc finishing with 4-36 in the second innings and 84 with the bat.

The loss was Pakistan’s fourth match in succession and their 52-year wait for a series win in Australia continues.

The third test starts in Sydney on Jan. 3.

Australia once again put Pakistan’s batting line-up against the wall as the tourists lost five early wickets for only 90 runs.

Azhar Ali remained not out on 34 along with the new batsman, Sarfraz Ahmad. As many as 38 overs remained in the day, with Australia hungrily eyeing another victory in the second Test match.

Earlier, Australia grabbed an early wicket to have Pakistan under pressure to save the second Test after a bold declaration.

Skipper Steve Smith revived hopes of achieving a result in the rain-disrupted Test with a declaration shortly before lunch.

He called a halt to a massive first innings at 624 for eight — remaining unbeaten on 165 off 246 balls — giving his fast bowlers the use of the new ball just before the interval.

The tactic paid immediate dividends with Josh Hazlewood bowling Sami Aslam off a bottom edge for two in the second over of the innings.

At lunch, Pakistan were six for one with first-innings double-centurion Azhar Ali on one and Babar Azam on three.

The decision to declare the Australian first innings was accelerated by a big-hitting knock of 84 off 91 balls from fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Starc clubbed seven sixes, the most in an innings in a Melbourne Test, and was particularly severe on Yasir Shah, belting the leg-spinner for five sixes.

He reached his eighth Test half-century and second fifty this season off 69 balls before he was given a reprieve on 51.

Starc skied spinner Azhar Ali to long-off where Sohail Khan made a hash of the catch, fumbling the two-handed chance.

He took to Azhar hoicking him for successive sixes to race to 70.

Starc hit another towering six off Yasir before he was finally out caught by Asad Shafiq at backward square leg.

His seven sixes surpassed the record in an innings in a Melbourne Test held by Andrew Symonds with six in his 72 against South Africa in 2005.

Starc put on 154 runs for the seventh wicket with Smith off 172 balls and upon Nathan Lyon´s dismissal, caught and bowled by Yasir for 12, Smith declared the innings and raced from the ground.

It was Smith´s 17th Test century and fourth for the year and he will finish 2016 with 1,079 runs at 71.93.

Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0 after beating Pakistan by 39 runs in the Gabba Test.

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