Pakistan fights back late as Pat Cummins claims five-wicket haul at SCG

Pat Cummins celebrates his fifth wicket at the SCG on Wednesday.

Pat Cummins celebrates his fifth wicket at the SCG on Wednesday. Photo: Getty

Pat Cummins’ golden summer has continued, bagging his third five-wicket haul in a row for Australia to help dismiss Pakistan for 313 at the SCG.

On another big day for Australia’s captain, Cummins was again his country’s best as his 5-57 put the hosts on top in David Warner’s farewell Test.

That left Warner needing to face one over before stumps, cutting the first ball from spinner Sajid Khan for four, hitting a two on the legside and almost being bowled to a ball he almost played onto his wickets.

But while this Test is all about Warner, the day belonged to Cummins.

His wickets included Pakistan star Babar Azam, as well as Mohammad Rizwan just as the wicketkeeper-batsman threatened to put his side back into the match.

With Rizwan motoring towards a century and on 88, Cummins brought himself into the attack just before tea and had Rizwan top-edging a well-directed bouncer to fine leg.

The wicket ended a quickfire 94-run sixth-wicket partnership between Rizwan and Agha Salman, who hit 53 before being caught pulling Mitchell Starc.

Cummins then struck again almost immediately after the break, having Sajid Khan caught at midwicket for 15 before knocking over Hasan Ali for a duck.

Australia was eying having Pakistan out for less than 250 at that point, before No.9 Aamir Jamal hit 82 off 97 balls in an innings that included four sixes.

The knock came as part of a 86-run last-wicket stand with Mir Hamza (7no), which again raised questions over Australia’s tactics to the tail.

Still, Cummins’ was the star.

Australia’s skipper has had a knack of bringing himself on at the right times in recent months, doing so in the fourth innings at the MCG last week.

Wednesday’s wickets took his return for the series to 18 wickets at 11.33, after leading Australia to World Cup success less than two months ago.

The bagful of wickets made him the first Australian since Nathan Lyon in 2017 to take three successive five-wicket hauls, in what is quickly becoming the summer of Cummins.

Making Cummins’ streak even more impressive is he continues to get the big wickets.

The quick again got the better of Babar earlier in the day, trapping Pakistan’s best batsman lbw for 26 with a ball that tailed back in at him after a number of flourishing cover drives.

He then backed it up with the wicket of Saud Shakeel, capping a horror morning for Pakistan that left them 4-47.

After the tourists rested quick Shaheen Afridi with the three-match series already surrendered, they lost both their openers for ducks in the first two overs at the SCG.

Abdullah Shafique’s dismissal from the second ball summed up a dismal tour for the 24-year-old, wafting at a ball well outside off stump from Starc (2-75).

The edge was a repeat of Shafique’s dismissal in the second innings at the MCG and comes after he dropped three chances in the slips this series.

Saim Ayub then showed the inexperience of a 21-year-old with 14 first-class games to his name.

With Josh Hazlewood angling his second delivery across the left-hander, Ayub felt for the ball and only succeeded in edging it through to a diving Alex Carey.

And while Pakistan captain Shan Masood offered some resistance with 35, he was caught in the slips off Mitch Marsh after lunch following an earlier reprieve off a no-ball.

That left Rizwan to lead a counter-attacking fightback, scoop-pulling Hazlewood for one six over fine leg and slog-sweeping Nathan Lyon for another with two of the most audacious shots of the day.


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