Lyon spins Australia to brink of victory

Nathan Lyon captured a long-awaited 400th Test wicket and spun Australia to the brink of a comprehensive victory in the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Saturday as England lost eight wickets in a stunning morning collapse on day four.

Having resumed on 220 for two with the match still within their grasp, England were bowled out for 297, leaving Australia needing only 20 runs to win.

Lyon, who finished with 4-91 for the second innings, had been stranded on 399 wickets since the series-deciding defeat to India in January at the same venue but wasted no time turning the contest on its head on Saturday.

In his second over, the shaven-headed 34-year-old deceived Dawid Malan (82) with a sharply-dipping ball that produced a bat-pad catch to Marnus Labuschagne in close.

That broke a crucial 162-run stand Malan had built with captain Joe Root on day three that had frustrated Australia’s bowlers and stretched into a third session.

England promptly lost three wickets for 11 runs with a fired-up Cameron Green having Root caught for 89, the England skipper denied a maiden hundred in Australia yet again.

Lyon had Ollie Pope caught for four by Steve Smith at slip with a ball that exploded out of the Gabba pitch to catch the middle-order batsman’s edge.

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler combined for a 32-run partnership before Australia captain Pat Cummins intervened, squaring up Stokes with a short ball that sent an edge flying to Green in the gully.

Lyon nabbed his third wicket when Ollie Robinson top-edged an attempted reverse-sweep and then his fourth by bowling Mark Wood.

Green completed England’s humiliation with his second wicket by having Chris Woakes caught behind for 16 to wrap up the innings.