Inspirational Starc hands Australia series triumph over Pakistan

Australian bowlers found their mojo back on the last day to win the test at MCG and clinch the series 2–0

Sarfaraz Ahmed clean up by searing in swing delivery from Mitchell Starc

Pacer Mitchell Starc ripped through Pakistan’s lower middle-order as Australia claimed a famous innings and 18 runs victory in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday to clinch the three-match series with one to go.

The match where nearly two days washed out due to rain and thunderstorm, was expected to finish as a draw, but Misbah-ul-Haq’s men, just like they did in the third Test against England earlier this year, produced another momentous collapse, which handed them their 11th consecutive defeat in a row on the Australian soil.

The hosts declared their first innings just before the lunch break at the score of 624 for eight, courtesy captain Steve Smith’s stunning 165 not out and Starc’s quickfire 84 included record seven sixes, left visitors to survive maximum of just 68 overs to save the Test.

However, the team who scored back to back scores of over 400, managed to bat less than 54 overs and was bowled out for just 163, handing Kangaroos an unassailable lead of 2–0.

The biggest disappointment of the day for the Green Caps was veteran Younus Khan and captain Misbah’s contribution with the bat, who managed to score just 24 runs collectively in the most important innings of the series.

For Pakistan, first innings hero Azhar Ali and wicketkeeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed combined finished with the top score of 43.

For Australia, pacer Starc claimed four, whereas off-spinner Nathan Lyon picked three wickets.

For his brilliant century and great captaincy, Smith was awarded man of the match. Pakistan have competed well in two games played in the series so far but bowling department has let them down in a big way as bowlers have conceded a lot of runs and failed to contain Australian batsmen.

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