In third Test, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon put Australia on course for series-clinching win

In third Test, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon put Australia on course for series-clinching win

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon put Australia on course for a series-clinching victory against Pakistan on Friday, with the touring side needing five wickets to wrap up the win in the final session of the deciding third Test in Lahore.

Fast bowler Cummins and off-spinner Lyon picked up two wickets apiece as Pakistan reached 190-5 at tea on the final day of the Test match at the Gaddafi Stadium, chasing 351 for an improbable victory.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who saved Pakistan from the jaws of defeat in the second Test in Karachi with a 196 in the second innings, was unbeaten on 46 at the break. Sajid Khan was eight not out.

Cummins dismissed Fawad Alam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who also struck an unbeaten 104 in the second innings of the drawn Karachi Test, in successive overs with both batters falling leg before wicket.

Television replays, however, showed Rizwan would have survived if he had asked for a review of the umpire’s decision.

Australia also erred by not reviewing a not-out decision for catch against Babar with replays showing the hosts’ batting mainstay had got a glove to a Lyon delivery which was taken at slip by Steve Smith.

Lyon should have picked up Babar on 45 just before tea but Travis Head failed to hold on to the catch at deep midwicket.

The first two Tests in the series — the first between the sides in Pakistan since 1998 — were drawn.

Opener Imamul Haq looked the most confident at the crease for Pakistan, defending resolutely during his knock of 70.

He was, however, out straight after lunch when he got an inside edge to his pad against Lyon to be caught by close-in fielder Marnus Labuschagne.

The experienced Azhar Ali, playing his 94th Test but the first at his home ground, also fell for 17 to Lyon after a decision that stoked controversy.

Australia asked for a review of the not-out decision, and the third umpire ruled in favour of the touring side after replays showed a faint edge when the ball passed the bat, although Azhar was convinced he had not hit it.

The touring side also got the wicket of Abdullah Shafique in the first session that was extended due to Friday prayers, with all-rounder Cameron Green dismissing the opener on his overnight score of 27.

Australia are touring Pakistan for the first time since 1998, having previously refused to visit over safety fears.

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