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Australia

Final frontier: Lyon buries Pakistan demons with spinning masterclass

Australia vs New Zealand day/night, first Test at Optus Stadium, every ball live and ad free on Fox Cricket 501.

Former Adelaide Oval groundsman Nathan Lyon has turned the venue into a personal playground.

The offspinner on Monday spun Australia to a 2nd Test win against Pakistan, taking 5-69 in the second innings to enhance his reputation in Adelaide.

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Lyon has collected 50 Test wickets at Adelaide Oval at a strike-rate surpassing the legendary Shane Warne.

Warne captured 56 wickets in 26 Test innings in Adelaide at an average of 30.44 - the most victims of any Test bowler in the South Australian capital. Lyon has snared his 50 victims in 18 Test innings in Adelaide at an average of 26.04.

The next most successful bowler in Adelaide is paceman Glenn McGrath (46 wickets in 20 innings, average 23.02).

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Lyon was working as a groundsman at the venue when called into South Australia’s Twenty20 team in 2011.

After being told of his selection, Lyon excitedly phoned his father Steven. “Dad said ‘yeah it will be good, you’ll learn something. But you’ll be back working on the ground staff before you know it, so don’t get your hopes up,’” Lyon has said.

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The 32-year-old’s haul on Monday is the 16th time he has taken five or more wickets in a Test innings - four of them in Adelaide, where he worked under current head curator Damian Hough.

“It’s a great place to play cricket ... it’s a great wicket and Damian has done a fantastic job again,” Lyon told ABC radio after the win.

Lyon was made aware of his 50th wicket milestone in Adelaide when the electronic scoreboard showed the statistic.

“It’s a nice little personal milestone,” he said.

“I love playing here. It’s probably one of, if not the best, wickets in the world.”

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