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Captain Cummins elated at Pakistan triumph

Pat Cummins says he’s a mix of satisfaction and elation at joining two Australian captaincy greats in winning a Test series in Pakistan.

Cummins emulates Richie Benaud and Mark Taylor as the only Australian skippers to lead their team to a series victory in Pakistan.

“It’s one of just immense satisfaction for me,” Cummins said after Australia’s 115-run triumph over Pakistan in the third Test in Lahore on Friday delivered a 1-0 series win.

“Everyone is just totally elated.

“Winning the Ashes series was huge but winning overseas doesn’t happen very often.”

Only Benaud in 1959 and Taylor in 1998 – captains renowned as Australia’s shrewdest leaders – had previously overseen series wins in Pakistan.

Cummins remains unbeaten in his eight Tests as captain – first up, a 4-0 Ashes win over the old foe England and now a 1-0 victory in Pakistan.

And all that after being hustled into the top job in the wake of Tim Paine’s resignation because of a sexting scandal just 20 days prior to the start of the Ashes last December.

“The Ashes went quickly and it was satisfying,” Cummins said.

“But this was my first big tour where I wasn’t a new captain any more.

“We were playing overseas, foreign conditions … a group of 30-odd people here, players and staff on a mission to try and win the series.

“And as a captain, that’s a big responsibility.

“So I think this one is just incredibly satisfying and shown that our group here is a very good cricket team.”

Cummins described the three-Test series in Pakistan as 15 days of toil.

“I didn’t expect it to go down to the last session of the 15 days,” Cummins said.

After drawn encounters in the first and second Tests, the Lahore finale was drifting too.

Then, late on Lahore’s third day, Cummins and fellow paceman Mitchell Starc ripped Pakistan’s first innings apart by taking 7-20 in the hour that transformed the series.

Cummins took 5-56 and then his bold declaration set Pakistan 351 to win from a maximum 117 overs.

Entering the final day, Australia needed all 10 Pakistan second innings wickets; entering the last session, they still needed five more.

They got them in style, winning with more than 15 overs to spare as spinner Nathan Lyon claimed 5-83 and Pakistan lost their last five wickets for 22 runs.

“Nathan Lyon bowled as well as I have seen him bowl,” Cummins said.

“He’d just plant himself up one end and go for two runs an over and feel like he was going to take wickets the whole time.”

Appropriately, Cummins delivered the knockout blow, his 3-23 including the last wicket which delivered victory.

The skipper finished the series with 12 wickets at an average of 22.50 and Lyon’s dozen victims came at 44.91 apiece.

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