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Australia win epic Boxing Day Test after late drama on Day 4 against Pakistan

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Pat Cummins’ second 10-wicket haul in Tests has powered Australia to a thrilling 79-run win over Pakistan at the MCG.

The Australia captain made all the crucial breakthroughs late on Friday as the hosts bowled Pakistan out for 237 to win the Boxing Day Test.

Pakistan fought bravely but lost 5-18 during a chaotic finish to day four as Australia took the extra 30 minutes after the scheduled stumps to complete the victory and retain the Benaud-Qadir trophy.

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Cummins finished with match figures of 10-97 after taking 5-49 in the second innings.

Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Ali Agha threatened to push Pakistan towards a famous win and break a 28-year winless run in Tests in Australia.

Cummins ended the 67-run partnership between the pair in bizarre and dramatic fashion just 15 minutes before the scheduled close of play.

Australia reviewed a not out call to Rizwan as a Cummins delivery flew into Alex Carey’s gloves.

But after a long review from the third umpire, Richard Illingworth deemed the ball flicked Rizwan’s wrist band that was connected to his gloves.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 29: Pat Cummins of Australia poses with the match ball and match stump during day four of the Second Test Match between Australia and Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Rizwan was the furious with the decision, with Pakistan 5-219 at the time and starting to believe they could pull off the country’s highest successful winning chase against Australia.

It was Cummins who stood up earlier, claiming the crucial wicket of his opposing captain Shan Masood (60), before tea.

Cummins took his fourth scalp of the second innings just minutes later, dismissing Aamir Jamal (0).

At seven wickets down, Australia opted to take the extra 30 minutes in a bid to complete the match on Friday instead of coming back for day five.

It was a rollicking end to one of the great MCG Tests, with Pakistan fighting harder than many touring nations usually do on Australian soil.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan star Babar Azam looked about to explode after a difficult start to the series.

But on 41, the former skipper was bowled by another classic delivery — this time by Josh Hazlewood.

Babar’s stumps were rattled in the first innings by Cummins, who produced a seaming “dream ball”, and Hazlewood’s wicket was just as good.

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