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Exhausted Nathan Lyon bounces back in Shield game

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18th February, 2021
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Nathan Lyon has snagged six wickets on Day 2 of NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria, admitting he was exhausted after a draining Test summer.

Lyon returned with a bang at the SCG to snare the best figures of his Sheffield Shield career.

He finished with 6-21 from 16 overs on day two of the star-studded Shield clash, having helped conjure a stunning collapse of 8-48 that led to NSW rolling Victoria for 200.

The offspinner survived 14 balls as nightwatchman as the Blues reached 1-22 at stumps on Wednesday, having reduced Victoria’s lead to 13 runs when play ended late at 7pm (AEDT) because of rain delays.

The haul won’t bring Lyon any closer to his 400th Test scalp, which remains one wicket away, nor any comfort after his 100th Test marked Australia’s series-deciding loss to India.

But it underlined the 33-year-old’s capacity to quickly shift the course of a match, something that didn’t transpire during his high-stakes milestone Test at the Gabba.

“It was quite an emotional week, especially having family there, throw in the challenges of trying to get them all up there with the border closures,” Lyon told AAP.

“An immensely exhausting week … I had a couple of weeks off after the Gabba Test and a pretty hectic summer.

“It was quite nice to come home and have some downtime, live a normal life ..get away from cricket.”

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Lyon, who opted for family time with his two daughters ahead of a Big Bash League stint with Sydney Sixers, noted India outplayed his side in Brisbane.

“The best thing about cricket is you can learn from it every day…we need to keep learning as a young Australian cricket team,” he said.

The tweaker ensured Victoria lost all momentum generated by former Test batsman Nic Maddinson’s blistering knock of 77, which spanned 80 balls and just 116 minutes.

“That’s why he is the GOAT. He’s pretty good,” Victoria captain Peter Handscomb said of Lyon.

Lyon removed Matt Short, Will Sutherland, James Pattinson, Mitchell Perry and Jon Holland in quick succession, having earlier found Marcus Harris’ edge to claim the first wicket to fall on Thursday.

“It was nice to get out here and find some nice rhythm,” Lyon said.

“It did happen pretty quickly.

“But that can happen on these type of wickets. It’s a pretty good contest between bat and ball, so a lot better than the Test wicket.”

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Handscomb reached 24, putting his side in the box seat to build a first-innings lead far bigger than 35 runs, before his dismissal to Trent Copeland ignited a dramatic slump.

Jake Fraser-McGurk was next to go, victim of a sensational direct hit from Josh Hazlewood at mid-off.

Fraser-McGurk was run out at the non-striker’s end, having briefly contemplated a quick single before a scrambling Hazlewood recreated the magic trick he performed at this year’s SCG Test.

Sean Abbott, who earlier ended Maddinson’s whirlwind knock, fired out Seb Gotch before Lyon compounded Victoria’s woes.

© AAP