Sport Cricket Nathan Lyon sends Boxing Day Test crowd into a spin

Nathan Lyon sends Boxing Day Test crowd into a spin

nathan lyon
Nathan Lyon sent social media spinning on day one of the Boxing Day Test. Photo: Getty
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Spinner Nathan Lyon has thwarted a well-organised attempt from thousands of cricket fans to simultaneously yell out his nickname by taking a wicket at the perfect moment on day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Billed as a world record attempt, spectators were preparing to yell “Nice, Garry!” after the third ball of the spinner’s first over of the day following a social media campaign supported by more than 10,000 cricket fans.

Lyon’s nickname was made popular by Aussie wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who regularly utters “Nice, Garry” after a good delivery. The name is a tribute to former AFL player and television presenter Garry Lyon.

As Lyon began his run-up, the excitement in the crowd was palpable. Spectators were on their feet and the cheering of fans drowned out everything else.

But it wasn’t to be…

Instead, Pakistan batman Sami Aslam edged the delivery to Steve Smith at first slip for a regulation catch – and “Nice, Garry!” became a cacophony of cheers from an elated MCG crowd. 

Lyon’s wicket was a bright spot during a day otherwise marred by bad weather, with rain forcing play to be called off before tea.

But the Australians had already done plenty of damage.

Josh Hazelwood sent the Pakistanis to lunch with the second wicket of the day to think about, while Jackson Bird struck twice just after the break to give Australia the upper hand.

Light rain meant tea was taken seven minutes early, with Pakistan 4-142 after winning the toss.

But the rain persisted and play was called off for the day at 4.45pm.

Day two is scheduled to start half an hour early tomorrow at 10am.

Rain is forecast on every day of the Test and on Monday the main MCG lights were switched on at noon.

Jackson Bird celebrates after claiming one of his two day one wickets. Photo: Getty

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali had anchored the innings with 66 in the gloomy conditions, while first-Test hero Asad Shafiq was four not out.

Bird (2-53) produced a superb delivery to bowl Younis Khan between bat and pad for 21.

Nic Maddinson then took an outstanding reflex catch at short leg off Bird’s bowling to send captain Misbah-ul-Haq on his way for 11.

The umpires reviewed Maddinson’s catch before confirming the dismissal, with the fielder just getting his fingers under the ball.

Pakistan went into the first break at 2-60, with Australian captain Steve Smith ending the session by also taking a low, finger-tip catch at second slip off the bowling of Hazelwood to dismiss No.3 Babar Azam for 23.

Just as Hazlewood was bowling his third delivery, Azhar pulled away from the crease because a fly was buzzing inside his helmet.

Fans enthusiastically jumped onboard the “Nice, Garry” campaign. Photo: Getty

The Australian quick was not impressed and the umpires spoke to Azhar, who protested his case.

The ball was re-bowled and Azhar drove it into the covers for three.

But Hazlewood was rewarded for some tight bowling when Smith just managed to snare Babar’s edged shot.

Lyon had been the shining light in the humid conditions as Pakistan made a watchful start.

It proved a tactical masterstroke from Smith.

Lyon’s third delivery was a beauty and Aslam, on 9 runs, edged it to Smith at first slip for a regulation catch.

Pakistan made one change, with Sohail Khan coming into the side at Rahat Ali’s expense, with Australian side unchanged.

Smith said at the toss he also would have batted.

– with AAP

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