Player of the Match
Player of the Match

What a finish. Sometimes Test cricket shakes out of a slumber. Today was one such day. That's all we have got for you as of now. Messrs Samiuddin, Coverdale and Kimber will have more for sure. Not to forget Mel Farrell. As Nathan Lyon sings Under The Southern Cross, as Australia celebrate this amazing win, this is Sidharth Monga leaving you thinking of a champion cricket fighting doubts at the twilight of his career. The 42-year-old Misbah, the rock that this Pakistan team's resurgence is built on. Through scandals and upheavals, through triumphs and disaster, through controversies and conspiracies, Misbah-ul-Haq has been the only constant, calming everything and everybody down. Today he played two premeditated sweeps to cap up a Test of poor field sets for Yasir Shah with. You always wonder when an old cricketer leaves the crease...

"It's been a pretty good day," says Steve Smith, also the Man of the Match. "At the start of the day we thought of batting for 40 minutes and see how it goes. We didn't lose any wickets so we put our foot down. Starcy's hits gave us the opportunity to take the 180 lead and go after them. We thought if we were able to get it to reverse soon enough, we could win. Also Lyono bowled so well before the ball started to go. At about five down when the ball was swinging, the bowlers were fresh, that's when it started to look clear. It's an unbelievable feeling to see the boys in that huddle. Pretty surreal to have now wrapped up the series. We have got a lot of belief in the guys around. The guys are doing the hard yards to improve every day. It has been a great sort of transition. I am proud of how the guys came out today to win the Test. I am doing okay. I have felt for a while that I have been hitting them all right. I love batting at MCG. Been a happy hunting ground for me. Can't wait to go to SCG. I like it there too, hopefully I can make it three in a row."

"Think especially after getting 443 in the first innings," says Misbah-ul-Haq. "we could not bowl to any discipline, could not build any pressure. We lost all the momentum there. Full credit to the Australian batsmen. It's a funny game. Especially when you are under pressure. When you know there can only be a draw or a defeat, that can create a lots of problems. We thought it might be easy if we could get a couple of wickets early. Anything over 100, you never know on the final day. We knew anything could happen. Azhar has been outstanding. The ball was doing a lot in the first innings. Seaming and swinging. Loads of concentration. In the second innings, under pressure.. Also Asad Shafiq played really well. Srafraz too. In the end you have to win sessions. You have to play well over both innings. That's what we haven't been able to manage. You have to forget these kind of performances and stand up as a team."

Australia in a huddle. This has been some win. We have had three days and two sessions of play. Pakistan made 450 in the first innings. Still Australia have won. They batted with intensity. Despite all the rain and the Pakistan runs, Australia kept thinking of the win. They enjoyed some luck when Warner batted but the intensity never dropped. You saw plays and misses but every time you looked up at the scoreboard Warner had added 20 more. Smith then followed it up with a calculated hundred that took him past the Test average of 60. Pakistan meanwhile remained lacklustre. Were they complacent thinking of the rain? They were sloppy in the field on the final morning, allowing Australia to make the declaration before lunch. Australia were switched on from ball one. Pakistan fans will poignantly look back at that Misbah innings

"It has finished a lot better than it started," Starc says. "We kept trying to find a way to win. We always had the belief. We knew if we took our chances we were confident of creating 10 chances. We knew we only had two sessions. Together as a bowling group we did really well. Just tried to hang out with Smitty and have a good time."

"Unbelievable," says Handscomb. "Great start to a Test career. Our motto today was to come out and keep believing. Second catch (Shafiq) was a bit lucky. Just moved with the shot, but on another day it would have fallen elsewhere. Amazing. Great experience to be in front of this crowd. To come out here and sing the anthems on the Boxing Day."

"Pretty special," says Lyon. "The bowling unit stood up today. The credit goes to all the boys. Smitty is a really good captain. We love playing under him. We want to go out and win three-nil now. We want to turn up to Sydney and try hard. We thought we had to do something special. Credit to the boys who held the catches. Doesn't matter who is taking the wickets, we just go out to take 20 wickets as a team. It's all about belief. I learnt it against India in Adelaide two years ago."

"Unbelievable," says Hazlewood. "Rocking up today we didn't know what to expect. Pretty good wicket. Doesn't really break up. Reverse swing from us was the key. We did end up getting the wickets pretty quickly. The plan was to crack one end up. Tight turnaround this Test but the body is feeling really good."

53.2
W
Starc to Yasir Shah, OUT, all ovah. Starc ends it. The shine is on the outside. Full, on the pads, Yasir looks to work on the leg side, but the ball swings away late, takes a hefty leading edge for an easy catch for Bird at mid-on

Yasir Shah c Bird b Starc 0 (12m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

53.1
0
Starc to Yasir Shah, no run, Starc gives Shah a bouncer first up. Down the leg side. Flicks his arm on the way

1.49pm So Pakistan into the last hour. Pakistan might feel safe if they bat 10 overs

END OF OVER:
53 | 4 Runs | PAK: 163/9

  • Sohail Khan10 (17b)
  • Yasir Shah0 (1b)
  • Josh Hazlewood13-3-39-2
  • Mitchell Starc15-4-36-3

5.15pm We enter the last hour now. A minimum of 15 overs left. There can be more if bowled within the next hour. Australia need one wicket. The ball is reversing. Starc is on fire. Pakistan need 18 to make Australia bat again. If they had not lost the last two wickets in the last two Starc overs, they would have been favourites to save the Test, but Starc's genius has tipped it Australia's way

52.6
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, on a length, on off, defended back to him. And we will have the last hour

"Sid, that Riaz dismissal was more Lamb than Lewis. The ball that got Lewis went between bat/pad and hit top of off. Lamb's was the reverse swinging away delivery from the right hander which started on middle and hit off" Chin, you'll notice that slyly I have made the correction upon watching the replay

52.5
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, bouncer, he gets under it. Now where does he gets the single to keep the strike?
52.4
4
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, FOUR runs, lovely off drive on the up. Past Hazlewood before he gets down, and beats Warner at mid-off too. Deficit under 20, but does it matter now?
52.3
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, big swipe to a length ball. Into the shin of short leg
52.2
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, full, swinging in, defended back
52.1
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, on a length, outside off, pushed to cover, turns down the single

Last over before the final hour starts. Will this Test go into that final hour?

END OF OVER:
52 | (wicket maiden) | PAK: 159/9

  • Yasir Shah0 (1b)
  • Sohail Khan6 (11b)
  • Mitchell Starc15-4-36-3
  • Josh Hazlewood12-3-35-2
51.6
0
Starc to Yasir Shah, no run, nope, not just yet. Yasir defends a straight full ball back to Starc

Last man Yasir Shah in. Can we have an outswinger to hit the off stump?

51.5
W
Starc to Wahab Riaz, OUT, Starc is too good. Hits the off stump again. He did a repeat of Chris Lewis last over, has he done an Allan Lamb here? Beats the outside edge with the slight tail away from Wahab. This is going to hurt Pakistan more because this is what they used to do to opponents

Wahab Riaz b Starc 0 (8m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

51.4
0
Starc to Wahab Riaz, no run, yorker at 144ks, in front off, dug out to Starc. Such a shame there aren't 60000 people at the MCG cheering him on as he charges in
51.3
0
Starc to Wahab Riaz, no run, full, straight, defended in front of middle and leg

Shine is outside, will go away

51.2
0
Starc to Wahab Riaz, no run, full, just outside off, swinging away late. Wahab is late and playing down the wrong line. Pakistan getting a taste of their own medicine. This is as good as Akram
51.1
0
Starc to Wahab Riaz, no run, full, fast, outside off. Beaten by the away movement

Wahab to face some reverse now

END OF OVER:
51 | 6 Runs | PAK: 159/8

  • Sohail Khan6 (11b)
  • Wahab Riaz0 (0b)
  • Josh Hazlewood12-3-35-2
  • Mitchell Starc14-3-36-2
50.6
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, bouncer, he ducks it
50.5
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, length ball, outside off, defended to mid-off
50.4
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, short of a length, just outside off, defended
50.3
0
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, no run, bouncer from Hazlewood. Sohail ducks under it
50.2
2
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, 2 runs, this one swings back in, Sohail gets a thick inside edge and takes a couple. That back lift with the ball reversing will encourage Australia

Starc is getting the "you are a legend chant" from Bay 13

50.1
4
Hazlewood to Sohail Khan, FOUR runs, expectedly now Sohail starts to swing about. Gets a thick edge to a length ball. Between the slips and gully for four

Now all of a sudden it seems Pakistan have lots and lots of time. Hazlewood comes back

END OF OVER:
50 | 4 Runs 1 Wkt | PAK: 153/8

  • Sohail Khan0 (5b)
  • Mitchell Starc14-3-36-2
  • Jackson Bird11-2-46-1
49.6
W
Starc to Sarfraz Ahmed, OUT, Starc has broken the game open. This is the old Pakistan treatment given to Pakistan. Think of Wasim Akram bowling Chris Lewis at the same venue all those years ago. All over Starc has been swinging it away from Sarfraz. Now he reverses the shiny side. It is now facing the batsman. This is quick, this is on target and this snakes back in. Through the gap between bat and pad. Top of off. This is genius

Sarfraz Ahmed b Starc 43 (96m 62b 4x4 0x6) SR: 69.35

49.5
0
Starc to Sarfraz Ahmed, no run, short of a length, down the leg side. Sarfraz is so concerned about that off and around that off stump, he misses out on this

Losing streak

5

No. of consecutive Tests lost by Pakistan, including this - their joint-most successive losses. They had lost 5 in a row in 1999-00 as well.

Ruling Boxing Day

575

Runs scored by Steven Smith in the last 3 Boxing Day Tests, including 165* in this match. He made 192 & 14 v Ind in 2014 and 134* & 70* v WI in 2015.

Hat-trick of 1000s

3

No. of consecutive years in which Smith has scored 1000+ runs. Only Hayden (5) did it more times. Lara, Trescothick, Pietersen also in 3 consecutive years.

Solid start

3

No. of consecutive Tests from debut in which Peter Handscomb has scored at least a fifty, including this. He made 54 on debut v SA and 105 in the last Test.

Openers dominate at MCG

2003

Last time openers from either sides scored centuries at MCG, before Azhar and Warner in this Test - Sehwag & Hayden.

Maiden ton at MCG

0

No. of Test 100s at MCG for Warner, before today. He had ave of 24.22 in 9 inns with best of 62. With this ton, he has 100s at all 6 Aus venues he has batted on.

Warner's 5000

19

No. of Aus batsmen to score 5000 or more runs in their Test career, including Warner. He is the 6th quickest after Bradman, Hayden, G Chappell, Harvey and Hussey.

Second double

1

No. of Pakistan players to make more than one double-century in a year. Azhar Ali, this year, became the first to do so.