Saturday, June 22, 2024

Record-breaking Lyon hails team-mates

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon not only shattered Bangladeshi cricket lovers’ dream of winning a Test series against Australia but also broke 130-year old record by bowling his career best in a match. Lyon, who grabbed 7-94 in the first innings, picked up 6-60 in the second innings at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Thursday to bundle Bangladesh out for 157 to help his side winning by seven wickets.
The crucial win helped Australia, who lost the first match of the two-Test series by 20 runs in Dhaka, level the series and made Lyon the most successful Australian bowler in a Two-Test series with 22 wickets.
Lyon was also adjudged the man of the series jointly with his vice-captain David Warner, who made two centuries, and he regarded his performance as his personal best.
‘Definitely. It’s probably up there personally,’ said Lyon when he was asked whether the performance was his career best or not.
He also thanked his team-mates as he reckoned bowling practice against them helped him achieve the feat.
‘But sitting down with the skipper [Steve Smith] in Darwin, and obviously before these Test matches he put a big onus on me to take control of the ball. And if I’d kept bowling the way I’ve been bowling in the nets I’d hopefully be successful,’ said Lyon.
‘So I’m very happy with the way the ball’s been coming out in the nets. Bowling to these guys in the nets, there’s no better practice.’
Lyon broke the Australian record of JJ Ferris, who grabbed 18 wickets in the two-match Ashes series in 1887-88, but missed the world record narrowly as Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath holds the record with 23 wickets that he got against Pakistan in 2014.
An ecstatic Lyon hailed his bowling mates as well as he thought their support was pivotal for his success.
‘To take 22 wickets in a two-match series it’s a pretty big achievement personally. But as I said, I don’t do that without the other guys putting in at the other end, like Patty Cummins bowling well, Ashton Agar, Steve O’Keefe and even Hilton Cartwright in this game,’ he added.
‘So without the support of those guys and the skipper it’s pretty hard to go out and have personal success. So I’m very pleased but very thankful as well.’
Lyon’s skipper Steve Smith also lauded his premier bowler loudly.
‘Magnificent, probably more the first innings than the second innings, said Smith regarding Lyon’s bowling.
‘The first innings, the wicket really wasn’t offering a great deal. I thought the way he just hit that right area, particularly with the new ball, skidding it on and hitting a few guys in front
‘That was the perfect way to bowl. I’m really proud of him. I think he’s come a long way particularly on the subcontinent over the last couple of years.
‘He’s developed a different style at times. He knows when to bowl differently and when to bowl his stock ball. I thought the way he bowled throughout this series, to take 22 wickets in a two-match series is remarkable,’ Smith added.
Smith was content to win the match though he preferred to win the series but he thought Bangladesh deservedly won the first match and the result of the series was a true reflection of the performance from both the sides.
‘It was nice to get over the line. It was obviously disappointing after the first Test match to not win there but credit to Bangladesh. I think they played some pretty good cricket throughout this series. It was nice to end with a 1-1 draw.’
Smith was surprised before the series as the sides did not feature in a Test series for 11 years since 2006 but he was hopeful that they will meet once again in near future as Bangladesh are fast improving.
‘Eleven years is a long time. I think the way they played over here was exceptional. They obviously beat us in the first Test and challenged us again out here.
‘If we get another opportunity to play against them, that›d be great. ‘

-With New Age input

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