It has taken a while for Nathan Lyon but he has finally got a five-wicket haul on his home ground. And by doing it against New Zealand, he has completed a set against every team he has faced.

Four more wickets in the second innings will give him his most prolific home season (last summer he took 25 wickets across six Tests) while his average of 24.68 is his best since his first campaign in 2011-12. It was the first five-wicket haul for an Australia spinner at the SCG since Nathan Hauritz's 5 for 53 against Pakistan in January 2010 at a ground where the average for spinners had been over 50 in the previous decade.

On a slow surface that was taking turn, Lyon came to the fore as he defied a spilt thumb, sustained when he dropped one of two caught-and-bowled chances off Glenn Phillips, to finish with 5 for 68. The final rewards came against the tail, but he had been a threat throughout the day and claimed the first two wickets of the innings which took 49 overs to secure as New Zealand's top order dug in.

"It's quite special to go up on the honours board and take five wickets at your home, in front of your family and friends, and to take five at one of your favourite venues from around the world," he said. "To be honest with you, I split my thumb but I was more frustrated about dropping a pretty easy catch, in my eyes.

"I pride myself on my fielding, especially the fielding off my own bowling. I know how hard it is to take Test wickets and when you're dropping catches off your own bowling it doesn't sit really well with you. So the thumb is fine. It is what it is. I'm more disappointed in my standards to be honest."

The SCG pitch has not been dissimilar to the two surfaces produced for the Sheffield Shield this season - although not quite as slow and low as the one against Western Australia - but while it has made life tough for the quicks, Lyon has found enough from the rough to keep him interested.

"I don't mind if it's slow if there's a bit of bounce, obviously spin as well, and there's starting to be some variable bounce," he said. "I'm very lucky I've got big Mitch Starc running down the middle of it, which is quite nice of him. That's one of the reasons I love playing with Starcy. It's about me bowling my best ball over and over and over again, challenging these guys' defence."

While it was a day of personal success, Lyon's thoughts - like so many in Australia - remained with those battling the catastrophic bushfires around the country. Earlier in the match, the Australian bowlers joined the mass of sportspeople and organisations pledging donations to the relief fund with A$1000 for each wicket they take during this Test.

"The true heroes in Australia right now are the firefighters and volunteers," he said. "It's such a small thing for us to donate $1000 a wicket. It puts cricket into perspective and it's showing Australia's true colours and how everyone rallies behind a country or people when they're having a hard time and really getting behind them. I'm proud to be an Australian in hard times, and we're getting around them."