Smith, Khawaja grow lead on Pakistan; Lyon on 499

Nathan Lyon moved to 499 career Test wickets as Australia strengthened their control of the first Test against Pakistan on day three.

Lyon took 3-66 as Pakistan were bowled out for 271, having started the day 132-2.

Opener Imam ul-Haq top scored for the tourists in their first innings with 62 runs, coming off 199 balls.

Australia ended the day 84-2 in their second innings, leading Pakistan by 300 runs.

Starting on an unbeaten 38 off 136 balls, Imam had to form a new partnership quickly after Australia captain Pat Cummins bowled nightwatchman Khurram Shahzad with the day’s third ball.

Imam was next joined by Babar Azam, making his first Test appearance since handing the captaincy to Shan Masood. The duo put on 49, Pakistan’s best stand of the day.

From there, the tourists’ attempt to get near Australia’s first-innings total of 487 crumbled. They fell from 181-3 to 271 all out, 216 runs behind the hosts.

Babar was dismissed on 21 by Mitchell Marsh, with Imam (62) soon following and the collapse beginning. Saud Shakeel and Agha Salman were the only remaining batters to show any level of resistance, scoring 28 runs each.

Nathan Lyon ended Imam-ul-Haq’s long innings•Dec 16, 2023•Getty Images

After dismissing opener Abdullah Shafique on day two, spinner Lyon followed up with the wickets of Imam and debutant Aamer Jamal, while Cummins and Mitchell Starc took two wickets each.

In response, Australia were very slow to get going and were 5-2 when David Warner (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (2) both top edged for easy catches off the bowling of debutant Shahzad. It was their lowest score after 10 overs of a Test innings in 30 years.

Shortly before his dismissal, Labuschagne suffered a blow to his hand after being hit by the ball, with Steve Smith also taking a hit to the arm once he came out to bat, with cracks starting to appear in the pitch.

But a 79-run partnership for the third wicket between Usman Khawaja and Smith helped Australia recover, and they ended the day in command. (BBC)