Pat Cummins leads Aussies to thrilling win over Pakistan in second Test

Pat Cummins deserves to be centre of attention after his Test-winning performance against Pakistan.

Pat Cummins deserves to be centre of attention after his Test-winning performance against Pakistan. Photo: AAP

Pat Cummins’ second 10-wicket haul in Tests has powered Australia to a captivating 79-run win over Pakistan at the MCG.

The Australia captain made all the crucial breakthroughs late on Friday as the hosts bowled Pakistan out for 237 to win the Boxing Day Test.

Pakistan fought bravely but lost 5-18 during a chaotic finish to day four as Australia took the extra 30 minutes after the scheduled stumps to complete the victory and retain the Benaud-Qadir trophy.

Cummins finished with match figures of 10-97 after taking 5-49 in the second innings.

Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Ali Agha threatened to push Pakistan towards a famous win and break a 28-year winless run in Tests in Australia.

Cummins ended the 67-run partnership between the pair in bizarre and dramatic fashion just 15 minutes before the scheduled close of play.

Australia reviewed a not out call to Rizwan as a Cummins delivery flew into Alex Carey’s gloves.

But after a long review from the third umpire, Richard Illingworth deemed the ball flicked Rizwan’s wrist band connected to his gloves.

Rizwan was furious with the decision, with Pakistan 5-219 at the time and starting to believe they could pull off the country’s highest successful winning chase against Australia.

‘I got a little bit twitchy there’

“I got a little bit twitchy there,” Cummins said. “I felt OK but they were batting nicely. Happy with the Rizwan wicket.”

It was Cummins who stood up earlier, claiming the crucial wicket of his opposing captain Shan Masood (60), before tea.

Cummins took his fourth of the second innings just minutes later, dismissing Aamir Jamal (0).

The wickets earned him the Jonny Mullagh Medal for player of the match, made him the 10th Australian to pass 250 Test scalps and capped a superb year as captain.

At seven wickets down, Australia opted to take the extra 30 minutes in a bid to complete the match on Friday instead of coming back for day five.

It was a rollicking end to one of the great MCG Tests, with Pakistan fighting harder than many touring nations usually do on Australian soil.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan star Babar Azam looked about to explode after a difficult start to the series.

But on 41, the former skipper was bowled by another classic delivery – this time by Josh Hazlewood.

Babar’s stumps were rattled in the first innings by Cummins, who produced a seaming “dream ball”, and Hazlewood’s wicket was just as good.

“The game kept turning. Sometimes it went Australia’s way, sometimes ours,” Masood said.

“But when we were leading with bat when me and Abdullah had a good partnership (in the first innings), Pat Cummins came in with that spell.

“And that is why he is one of the best bowlers in the world.”


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