Australia's Nathan Lyon (second from right) celebrates with his teammates after the dismissal of Bangladesh's Soumya Sarkar.
Australia's Nathan Lyon (second from right) celebrates with his teammates after the dismissal of Bangladesh's Soumya Sarkar. A.M. Ahad

Nathan Lyon's five-for puts him in fine company

HE might not get the plaudits of Indian spin kings Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin, Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath or Pakistan's Yasir Shah but right now Nathan Lyon boasts more Test five-wicket hauls than any of them in 2017.

Lyon claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the year in Chittagong, moving past Herath, Jadeja, Ashwin and Shah on the 2017 leaderboard, continuing a stunning year in cricket for a man seemingly always under pressure to hold on to his spot in the team.

That's not just special for this year. That's special in any year in Australian cricket.

The last Australian to take more five-wicket hauls in a year was Shane Warne in 2005, when he took six. With an innings to go this match and four more Tests before the end of the year, Lyon is more than a good chance of joining Warne as the only Australian to take five five-fors in a calendar year this century.

Called on to share the new ball with Pat Cummins - the first Australian spinner to use the new ball in the first innings of a Test since Bill O'Reilly in 1938 - Lyon made the most of it, trapping Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes in front of the stumps in the first 14 overs, Soumya Sarkar right before lunch and Mominul Haque soon after. He went on to strike one more blow before stumps, having the dangerous Sabbir Rahman stumped less than 10 overs out from the close of play.

Lyon has now taken five-wicket hauls in each of his past three Tests. It is true that he has benefited from playing on the subcontinent, but the pitch in Chittagong has hardly been devious and the 29-year-old's biggest weapons this time around have been his unerring accuracy and natural drift.

The 69-Test veteran moved past Jason Gillespie to seventh on Australia's Test wicket-takers' list in Chittagong with 261. Going by his current trajectory, he'll be eyeing a spot on the podium by the time he retires, sandwiched between Dennis Lillee (355) and McGrath (563), behind Warne (708).

News Corp Australia

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