Australia produced yet another dominant performance in the final Test at Sydney against Pakistan to make it a clean sweep in the three-match series. The hosts were on top from the start as they piled over 500 runs in their first innings, leaving the visitors with a mammoth task in trying to claw their way back into the game.
The bowling was top notch for Aussies as they bundled Pakistan out for 315 in the first innings despite Younis’ unbeaten 175 runs, who remained stranded at the crease. Australian captain Steven Smith will be much pleased after this win as he had received a lot of flak from the media and public after losing the home series against South Africa at the start of the summer. Australia with a win at Sydney also attained a unique feat against Pakistan as it became their fourth successive clean sweep against the visitors in a row on Australian shores since 1999.
The final day was about Australia’s clinical execution as Josh Hazlewood was the main bowler who set up the win for the side. He first dismissed Azhar Ali in the first over of the day and then took care of Babar Azam to put pressure on Pakistan’s middle order. Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq perished in the second innings playing characteristic strokes against the off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Mitchell Starc produced a gem to see Asad Shafiq make his way back to the Pavilion. The second spinner Steve O’Keefe also chipped in with an important wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq whose demise came when he tried to play an ugly hoick to clear the ropes and eventually found the fielder.
The writing was on the wall for Pakistan as the side once again folded for 220 runs with Sarfaraz being the only batsman to stand up and challenge as he top-scored with an unbeaten 72 runs. The last man Imran Khan was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood to see Australia rejoice in victory while Pakistan’s dressing room presented a dismal look of a side left with plenty of questions to answer after the series.
Australia is scheduled to tour India in the month of February as Smith will look to address their ills in the subcontinent against dominant hosts who are on a roll at the moment.