Record-breaking Lyon spins Australia to second Test victory

Australia 377 and 3-87 defeated Bangladesh 305 and 157 by seven wickets

Chittagong: Nathan Lyon claimed the best match figures of his career and broke a 130-year-old Australian record as he spun the tourists to a series-levelling victory on day four at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

Much of the focus in the lead-up to this series had been about the identity of Australia's left-arm tweaker for this tour, but it was their mainstay off-spinner who further vindicated his "GOAT" nickname by yet again ripping through a Bangladeshi top order full of left-handers on his way to 13-154 for the match and 22 wickets for the series.

The hosts had done well to work themselves back into the game by taking seven Australian wickets on a rain-affected day three, but alas for a healthy and partisan home crowd, Bangladesh's showing on Thursday was all too similar to the Tigers of old as they crashed to be all out for 157.

Even Australia's brittle batting line-up wasn't going to be overly troubled by a target of 86 on a wicket holding up reasonably well, and while David Warner, Steve Smith and Matthew Renshaw all fell along the way, the tourists chased down their target inside 16 overs, with Glenn Maxwell finishing the job with a six to long-on before being embraced in the middle by Victorian teammate Peter Handscomb.

The seven-wicket win meant Australia matched England's 2016 effort of a 1-1 drawn series in Bangladesh.

It was a missed opportunity for the hosts, who have still only claimed Test series wins against Zimbabwe and a weakened West Indies in their 17-history in the game's longest format.

Lyon has dominated Bangladesh's lefties in this series and on Thursday morning he was at it again, removing Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Shakib Al Hasan in the space of 30 minutes after Pat Cummins dismissed opener Soumya Sarkar cheaply.

The wicket of Shakib was Lyon's 19th for the series, taking him past JJ Ferris' record for the most wickets for Australia in a two-Test series, set in the 1886-87 Ashes.

Steve O'Keefe then removed Nasir Hossain, with the recalled spinner celebrating by putting his finger over his lip, perhaps a message directed to the critics who had suggested he didn't deserve to be brought back.

With that Bangladesh had slumped to 5-43, still needing 29 runs to make Australia bat again. Sabbir Rahman and captain Mushfiqur Rahim dug in, at least ensuring an innings loss was avoided, with the Tigers reaching lunch at 5-83, but Sabbir fell to Lyon for 24 shortly after the break.

Mushfiqur and Mominul Haque continued to stubbornly deny the tourists until Cummins again broke through to dismiss Mushfiqur for 31, while Lyon secured his third five-wicket haul of the series as Cummins took a diving catch at deep backward square leg to remove Mominul for 29.

It was also Lyon's 45th Test wicket in 2017, moving him to the top of the international tally for the calendar year, and his 12th wicket for the match, with this haul coming considerably cheaper than his previous-best 12-286 at Adelaide in 2014-15.

Lyon bowled Taijul Islam shortly after tea, giving him a chance to equal Sri Lankan Rangana Herath's record of 23 wickets in a two-Test series, but it was not to be as O'Keefe skittled Mustafizur Rahman to end the innings.

Play began half an hour early on day four to make up for time lost to rain on Wednesday, with Australia not adding to their overnight total of 9-377 as Lyon departed for a duck, but his deeds with the ball ensured that that was little more than a footnote.

This story Record-breaking Lyon spins Australia to second Test victory first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.