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Lyon was just one wicket short of reaching 500 as Australia increased their lead over Pakistan.

On Saturday, the bowlers of Australia took turns getting wickets, but Nathan Lyon was unable to reach his milestone of 500. Pakistan was dismissed for 271 in their first innings, giving the home team a lead of 300 runs on day three of the opening Test match.

The off-spinner currently has 499 wickets in Test matches. In the latest match, they took three wickets for 66 runs. Imam-ul-Haq was the top scorer for the visiting team with 62 runs. The visitors were all out in 101.5 overs.

Australia chose not to enforce the follow-on and finished the day with a score of 84 for two from 33 overs. Steve Smith remained unbeaten at 43, after scoring 487 runs in their first innings.

“I found the batting to be quite challenging towards the end. As the game progresses, I believe the cracks in the pitch will have a greater impact,” stated Josh Hazlewood of Australia, who took one wicket for 49 runs.

Starting from a score of 132 for two, Pakistan nearly lost Khurram Shahzad to a runout on the first ball of the day. However, thanks to captain Pat Cummins’ impressive performance (two for 35), there was no additional harm done as he cleanly bowled out the nightwatchman just two deliveries later. Imam, who usually doesn’t make such mistakes, was stumped by Alex Carey after dancing past a delivery from Lyon. He had been building a solid partnership with Pakistan’s top batter Babar Azam (21), but things took a turn for the worse before lunch as the team suffered a collapse and lost three wickets in just 14 runs.

Australia’s Steve Smith batting

Agha Salman’s (28 not out) efforts provided some resistance for Pakistan, however, Lyon’s second stumping of Aamer Jamal for wicket 499 stirred up the crowd of 15,956, who were eager to witness the approaching milestone.

Travis Head, who was bowling part-time, took the final wicket by tricking Shaheen Afridi into attempting a slog-sweep that was caught by Usman Khawaja at mid-on. According to Hazlewood, Head joked that he didn’t want his 500th wicket to be against a lower-order batsman, but rather a top-order one.

In the post-tea session, Australia’s first innings century-maker David Warner was dismissed for zero and Marnus Labuschagne for two runs, as Shahzad’s two quick wickets added excitement to the match.

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In their second attempt, he and Afridi demonstrated a stronger grasp of the conditions at Perth Stadium. The slight decline of the surface also worked in their favor as they limited the opponent to only seven runs in the initial 10 overs and showed more aggressive bowling.

Khawaja and Smith gradually regained control, though not without a brief moment of alarm when Smith narrowly avoided being caught by Afridi’s hook shot over deep fine-leg for six. They both remained unbeaten with 34 and 43 runs, respectively, until the end of play.

Source: theguardian.com