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Pat Cummins bags 10-wicket haul as Australia clinch series with 79-run win over Pakistan

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Pat Cummins bags 10-wicket haul as Australia clinch series with 79-run win over Pakistan

Melbourne, Dec 29 (Ajit Weekly News) Captain Pat Cummins took his second five-wicket haul of the Boxing Day Test, taking his match tally to ten scalps, and leading Australia to a series win with a 79-run victory over a much-improved Pakistan on day four’s play at the MCG here on Friday.

After being handed a heavy 360-run defeat in the first Test in Perth, Pakistan put up a much better showing in Melbourne, with Agha Salman and Mohammad Rizwan threatening to pull off an improbable chase through their 57-run partnership.

But Cummins returned to take out Rizwan on review for his 250th Test wicket, which showed the ball had touched his wristband while trying to evade the delivery.

He then took out Aamer Jamal and Shaheen Shah Afridi to bag his ten-fer in Tests, becoming the second Australia captain after Allan Border to do so.

Mitchell Starc claimed scalps of Salman and Mir Hamza on successive deliveries, as Australia secured a hard-fought win. Australia are now up in third place in the WTC points table, while Pakistan have slipped to fifth place.

With the New Year Test at Sydney starting on January 3, Australia will be tempted to add more points with another win over Pakistan.

In the morning, Australia began from an overnight score of 187/6, with a lead of 241 runs. Alex Carey scored a fighting 53 and added 75 runs for Australia with the tail’s help. Shaheen (4-76) and Hamza (4-32) were the standout performers for Pakistan as Australia made 262 in the second innings.

After setting a daunting target of 317, Australia struck early as Abdullah Shafique fell to Starc for four, while Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed for 12 by Cummins. However, Shan Masood and Babar Azam joined forces to help Pakistan make progress. But the 61-run stand came to an end when Cummins struck and removed Masood.

Babar held on for some time but eventually fell to a beauty from Josh Hazlewood. Rizwan and Salman then got together and helped Pakistan cross 200. However, Cummins struck thrice to leave Pakistan tottering at 237/8.

Mitchell Starc eventually finished the game at that very score by picking back-to-back wickets. Cummins was the Player of the Match for just his second ten-for in Test cricket. He finished with 10/97 in the game.

Brief scores:

Australia 318 and 262 (Mitchell Marsh 96, Alex Carey 53, Mir Hamza 4-32, Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-76) beat Pakistan 264 and 237 (Shan Masood 60, Agha Salman 50, Pat Cummins 5-49, Mitchell Starc 4-55) by 79 runs

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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