Nathan Lyon conceded it felt special to match Australia great Dennis Lillee’s haul of Test wickets as the tourists again took control against England in the Ashes.
Following their rampant 251-run win at Edgbaston in the series opener, Australia asked England to bat at Lord’s and wasted little time getting among their opponents after a first-day washout.
Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow offered the most telling resistance with half-centuries, but three wickets apiece from off-spinner Lyon and seamers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood saw England dismissed for 258.
Bairstow was the last man out, caught by Usman Khawaja on the midwicket boundary – a moment that moved Lyon on to 355 scalps alongside celebrated paceman Lillee.
“I have always said I’m not about personal milestones or personal achievements, it’s about winning Test matches for Australia,” Lyon told reporters after his side reached 30 for one at stumps, with Stuart Broad once again accounting for David Warner.
“I wasn’t actually aware of it. I struggle to see myself up there with the likes of Lillee, [Shane] Warne, [Glenn] McGrath.
“To me they’re greats of the game and I’m just some guy trying to bowl off-breaks.
“It’s a special moment and hopefully a few more will come.”
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 15, 2019
The recalled Hazlewood and Cummins, the latter who peppered England’s batsman with a ferocious spell of short bowling after lunch, turned in performances that would undoubtedly have won Lillee’s approval.
Burns was dropped by Khawaja, and Lyon felt Australia could have been in an even more commanding position.
“I don’t think we have had our best day, we dropped a few catches,” he said.
“But if we are batting at the end of the day we are pretty happy. We want to be a team that, no matter what we do first, we are competing and playing a positive brand of cricket.”