300 club: Cheating overshadows Lyon’s milestone
NATHAN Lyon has produced a career highlight at one of Australian cricket's lowest moments, capturing his 300th Test wicket on Sunday.
Tim Paine completed a regulation stumping to dismiss Kagiso Rabada and help Lyon bring up the milestone on day four of the third Test against South Africa.
Lyon is the sixth Australian to achieve the feat, following in the footsteps of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee.
The milestone was overshadowed by Steve Smith's shock revelations - and subsequent suspension and fine - over conspiring to cheat on day three of the contest.
Australia lacked their trademark zip in the field, with the exception of a vocal Paine, but it was clear just how much Rabada's scalp meant to Lyon and the team.
As the offspinner celebrated jubilantly, teammates rushed over to embrace him.
It was a rare show of emotion from a deflated side.
Lyon's 77-Test career has featured all manner of ups and downs.
He was on the cusp of being dropped during the home summer of 2016-17 but should soon become the nation's fourth-most prolific bowler.
Lyon now has 301 scalps, having also dismissed Keshav Maharaj on Sunday.
Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee, who claimed 313 and 310 wickets respectively in their decorated careers, are already in Lyon's sights.
The 30-year-old overtook Craig McDermott and claimed sixth spot on Australia's list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers during the first Test against South Africa.
"It's an amazing achievement, something I'm very proud of. When you start passing the likes of Craig - you're hitting the real legends of the game," Lyon said.
"Mum and dad have sent me a couple of messages.
"It's a very special moment but hopefully there's a few more to take in this series and the rest of my career."
MOST TEST WICKETS BY AN AUSTRALIAN 708: Shane Warne 563: Glenn McGrath 355: Dennis Lillee 313: Mitchell Johnson 310: Brett Lee 301: Nathan Lyon.