Starc, Lyon script dramatic Australia victory at MCG

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Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (R) attempts to run out Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq (C) as teammate David Warner looks on during the final day of the second Test in Melbourne on December 30, 2016. (PHOTO: AFP)
Shukriya Pakistan

Australia beat Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs in the second Melbourne Test to take the series 2-0 on Friday.

The Australians roared to victory in the last two sessions of the final day dismissing the tourists for 163 after declaring before lunch at 624 for eight.

Australian skipper Steve Smith called a halt to a massive first innings at 624 for eight – remaining unbeaten on 165 off 246 balls – giving his fast bowlers the use of the new ball just before the interval.

The tactic paid immediate dividends as Pakistan stumbled under pressure and continued to lose wickets in regular intervals. The decision to declare the Australian first innings was accelerated by a big-hitting knock of 84 off 91 balls from fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Starc clubbed seven sixes and was particularly severe on Yasir Shah, belting the leg-spinner for five sixes.

His seven sixes surpassed the record in an innings in a Melbourne Test held by Andrew Symonds with six in his 72 against South Africa in 2005.

He reached his eighth Test half-century and second fifty this season off 69 balls before he was given a reprieve on 51.

Starc put on 154 runs for the seventh wicket with Smith off 172 balls and upon Nathan Lyon’s dismissal, Smith declared the innings and raced from the ground.

It was Smith’s 17th Test century and fourth for the year and he will finish 2016 with 1,079 runs at 71.93.

Australia have won the three-Test series 2-0 after beating Pakistan by 39 runs in the Gabba Test. Sydney will host the third Test from January 3, 2017.

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