Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Starc, Lyon shine as Aussies level series

Published:Wednesday | December 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon in action during the second Test against India in Perth, Australia, yesterday.

PERTH, Australia (AP):

Australia trounced India by 146 runs in the second Test to level the four-Test series 1-1 on the final day yesterday.

Needing 287 runs to win, India resumed the day on 112-5 and were all out in a hurry for 140 in the second innings, and Australia was home for lunch.

India lost the last six wickets for 42 runs as Australia hurried to their first victory in seven Test matches since March when they beat South Africa in Durban.

The No. 1 Test team in the world crumbled in the face of fast-bowler Mitchel Starc taking 3-46 and offspinner Nathan Lyon 3-39. They were superbly backed up by fellow fast-bowlers Josh Hazlewood (2-24) and Pat Cummins (2-25).

"I am relieved personally," skipper Tim Paine said after the long-awaited test win. "It's hard work ... . I am really proud of the competitive and hard cricket we played."

Both teams were left battered and bruised on a pitch in which cracks were widening at Perth Stadium, the newest Test venue.

India, in particular, enjoyed bowling on it, leaving the Australia batsmen ducking for cover. Opener Aaron Finch was forced to retire after taking a painful blow on his hand.

"It was a tough and bruising Test," Paine added. "Both teams have outstanding fast-bowling attacks.

"We have some inexperienced players in terms of Test matches played. To get a win like that against the best Test team in the world is going to give them a huge boost of confidence.

"The game tightened up a lot at certain stages, and we stuck to our guns and delivered our skills really well under pressure."

It was an outstanding bowling effort by Man of The Match Lyon, who claimed a match bag of 8-106 after 5-67 in the first innings to secure a crucial 43-run lead to tilt the balance in Australia's favour.

He has 17 wickets in the series. Lyon has also taken 80 wickets against India in Test cricket, the second-highest by a spinner.

Lyon is the joint highest wicket-taker in 2018, with 48 at an average of 26.02 in nine Tests, alongside Sri Lanka offspinner Dilruwan Perera.

"Australia played better cricket and consistently," India captain Virat Kohli said. "We didn't play with the same intensity as we did in the first Test match.

The third starts on December 26 in Melbourne.