Nathan Lyon dives to his left to take a catch off his own bowling to dismiss England's Moeen Ali.
Nathan Lyon dives to his left to take a catch off his own bowling to dismiss England's Moeen Ali. Rick Rycroft

Nathan Lyon backs up words with brilliant actions

CRICKET: Is there anything Nathan Lyon can't do?

The man they call 'the GOAT' (Greatest Of All Time) was simply awesome in Brisbane, running out James Vince with a direct hit that turned the Test in Australia's favour.

He bowled beautifully too, taking five wickets for the match but could have easily claimed another three or four.

Following pre-match jibes that ruffled plenty of English feathers, this was precisely what Lyon needed to do in order to live up to his words.

In Adelaide he whacked his third Test six, a huge maximum over fine leg, before dismissing set batsman Alastair Cook at a critical juncture in the contest.

But the true highlight was reserved for the afternoon of day three, when Moeen Ali - who is said to be the best player of spin in England's XI - succumbed to Lyon for the third time from three innings this series.

Nathan Lyon is congratulated by teammates after dismissing Moeen Ali.
Nathan Lyon is congratulated by teammates after dismissing Moeen Ali. DAVID MARIUZ

Ali ventured down the wicket and didn't quite get to the pitch of it. His hands opened up and the Kookubarra was spooned back down the pitch to Lyon's left. The off-spinner had to react quickly and move nimbly. He did both, hauling in a ripper caught and bowled that sent the Adelaide Oval faithful into a frenzy.

It's not the first time he's taken a stunner off his own bowling either.

On Test debut he sent Sri Lanka's Chanaka Welegedara packing, while his 50th Test was celebrated by grabbing a ripping caught and bowled off Marlon Samuels in 2015.

In the outfield he's also impressed, with the most notable example being a diving catch against South Africa at the WACA a few summers ago that dismissed Graeme Smith.

Mitchell Starc keeps his eye on the ball to catch England's Jonny Bairstow.
Mitchell Starc keeps his eye on the ball to catch England's Jonny Bairstow. DAVE HUNT

Not to be completely outdone, Mitchell Starc shortly afterwards plucked a caught and bowled that was arguably just as good as Lyon's.

Starc's pitched-up delivery to Jonny Bairstow was driving back to his right. After juggling the initial attempt, the fast bowler held onto it, sending the tourist's gloveman packing for 21.

As Australia's most capped Test cricketer in the team, Lyon is nearing 300 Test wickets (276 and counting). When he inevitably reaches that milestone, he will have just five Aussies ahead of him on the wicket-taking list.

Not too bad for a groundsman who once worked on the Adelaide Oval but is now making it his fortress.



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