SL vs AUS: Nathan Lyon Matches This Record Of Shane Warne In Asia

Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon equalled late Shane Warne’s record in Test cricket on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium. After Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne asked the visitors to bowl first, the Pat Cummins-led side bowled out the hosts for 212 in 59 overs.

Thanks to Lyon’s wily turn and bounce variations that deceived the Sri Lankan batters. After Cummins and Starc picked a wicket apiece, Lyon got the better of the Sri Lankan skipper, bowling a drifted-in delivery to the southpaw to hit the bat and pad before David Warner completed the catch at gully.

Nathan Lyon completes 20 fifers in Test cricket

Lyon broke Sri Lankan veteran Angelo Mathews’s resistance with a sharp off-breaker that the batter played with apathy to send the ball in the hands of Warner at leg slip. The off-spinner pinned Rames Mendis in front of the stumps for LBW with another off-breaker, this time bowled at a good length.

In his next over, Lyon dismissed Sri Lankan keeper Niroshan Dickwella as the left-hander attempted to play a sweep shot but all he got was a top-edge that went to his counterpart Alex Carey behind the stumps.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. Image: Cricket Australia

Lyon dismissed Lasith Embuldeniya thanks to a breathtaking catch by Usman Khawaja, who flew to his left from mid-on to hand Lyon his 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Lyon finished with figures 5/90 to register his second fifer in the island nation since his Test debut in August 2011, when he picked 5/34 at the same venue.

Nathan Lyon levelled Shane Warne’s record in Asia

Lyon picked his ninth Test five-wicket haul in Asia – three in India, three in Bangladesh, two in Sri Lanka and one in Pakistan. The 34-year-old levelled the record of late Shane Warne as the most fifers by a visiting spinner in the subcontinent.

Shane Warne
Shane Warne. (Photo: Twitter)

After achieving the 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket, Lyon joined the likes of Allan Donald (South Africa) and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) in the list of most five wickets in the longest format of the game. Former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan leads the charts with 67 fifers.

Only England pacer James Anderson (31) and Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (30) have the most five-wicket hauls amongst the active cricketers. Lyon also surpassed former New Zealand bowler Sir Richard Hadlee’s Test tally of 431.

Also Read: SL vs AUS: Nathan Lyon Will Be Key To Australia’s Success In The Test Series: Shane Watson