Australia’s Mitchell Starc completes 650 wickets in international cricket | Cricket

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Melbourne [Australia], December 30 (ANI): Australian pacer Mitchell Starc completed 650 wickets in international cricket.

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The 33-year-old veteran accomplished this milestone in the second Test between Australia and Pakistan at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

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After going wicketless in the first innings, Starc was destructive in the second, taking 4/55 in 13.2 overs at an economy rate of 4.10, derailing Pakistan’s 317-run chase with regular wickets.

In 263 international matches, Starc has taken 651 wickets at an average of 25.35, with the best figures of 6/28. He has 23 five-wicket hauls and two ten-wicket hauls in international cricket. He is Australia’s fourth-highest wicket-taker of all time, with legendary spinner Shane Warne (1,001) at the top.

In 84 Test matches, Starc has taken 342 wickets at an average of 27.53, with the best figures of 6/50. He has 14 five-wicket hauls and two ten-wicket hauls in Tests. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in Tests, with Warne (708 wickets) at the top.

Starc has also played 121 ODIs, taking 236 wickets at an average of 22.96, with the best bowling figures of 6/28. He has nine five-wicket hauls in ODIs. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker for Australia in ODIs, with pacer Glenn McGrath (380) at the top.

The pacer has 73 wickets in 58 matches, with the best bowling figures of 4/20. He is the second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is for Australia, with Adam Zampa (82) at the top.

Coming into the match, Australia was put to the bat first and posted 318 in their first inning, with Marnus Labuschagne (63), Usman Khawaja (42) and Mitchell Marsh (41) being key contributors.

Aamer Jamal (3/64) was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, while Mir Hamza, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi took two wickets each and Agha Salman got one.

Australia secured a 54-run first-inning lead as they bundled out Pakistan for 264, despite half-centuries from Abdullah Shafique (62) and skipper Shan Masood (54). Skipper Pat Cummins (5/48) and Nathan Lyon (4/73) emerged as top bowlers for Aussies.

In their second inning, Australia was shaken by early strikes by Shaheen and Mir and sunk to 16/4, but half-centuries from Marsh (96), Steve Smith (50) and Alex Carey (53) helped Australia get back in the game and secure a 316-run lead. Australia was bundled out for 262. Mir (4/32) and Shaheen (4/76) were the stars for Pakistan, while Mir also got two wickets.

In the chase of 317 runs, knocks from Shan (60), Babar Azam (41), Saud Shakeel (24), Mohammed Rizwan (35) and Agha (50) kept Pakistan alive after openers Abdullah and Imam Ul Haq were dismissed quickly, but the lower order did not put up any fight. Pakistan was bundled out for 237 runs and lost the match by 79 runs.

Cummins (5/49) took another five-wicket haul to finish with a ten-wicket haul, while Starc took four and Josh Hazlewood got one wicket.

Cummins was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

Australia have won the series 2-0 with a game to go. (ANI)

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