'He’s a mole': How Shane Warne helped Pakistan take down Steve Smith

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An Australian cricket icon has labelled Shane Warne a "mole" after learning of his role in Pakistan's big wicket of batting superstar Steve Smith, on day three of the first Test at the Gabba.

Yasir Shah proved once again to be Smith's undoing - dismissing the former Aussie captain for a seventh time in Tests.

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It was a small consolation for Pakistan on a day three dominated by the Aussies.

However, it's now been revealed there may have been more to Shah's feat than meets the eye.

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Commentating for Fox Sports, former Australia spinner Kerry O'Keeffe remarked how the visitors bowlers, particularly Shah, needed to bowl straighter at the Aussie batsmen.

The analysis seemed to jog the memory of fellow commentator Michael Vaughan, who recalled a meeting Warne had with the Pakistanis the previous night.

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“Last night Shane (Warne) was walking out of the hotel when the Pakistan bus arrived," Vaughan said.

"After a selfie with them all, Shane in the middle of them all, he had a nice conversation with Yasir Shar and he just said, ‘Tell them to bowl a little bit straighter’.”

“He’s a mole,” O’Keeffe said of Warne in reply to Vaughan’s suggestion.

Former England captain Vaughan actually drew a confession out of Warne earlier in the day, when the Spin King explained his work with Australia's opponents.

Pictured on the right, Shane Warne's advice helped Pakistan get Steve Smith out cheaply.
Steve Smith has Shane Warne to thank for the bowling strategy that proved his undoing. Pic: AAP/Getty

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with him a little bit and we keep in touch whenever he’s (Shah) playing around the world,” Warne said.

“I just had a chat and spoke to him about the things I spoke about this morning, bowling a bit straighter, getting your field right and challenging the front pad and the stumps rather than bowling wide of off stump.”

The plan worked wonders against Smith - who for the first time in this career was the lowest run-scorer on the Aussie scoresheet.

It wasn't all good news for Shah, however, with the leg-spinner finishing with figures of 4-205 on a day three that the Aussies absolutely dominated.

Aussies on verge of victory after day three

Australia are seven wickets away from a perfect start to the Test summer and inflicting a demoralising defeat on Pakistan.

On song with bat and ball, the Aussies are poised to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series in Brisbane as soon as Sunday afternoon.

Three years ago at the Gabba, Pakistan almost pulled off the impossible by threatening to chase down a world-record 490 on the last two days.

But with another 276 runs required just to make Australia bat again and sunny skies predicted for Sunday and Monday, Pakistan would require an even bigger miracle this year.

Mitchell Starc looks to have re-found his groove with two late wickets on Saturday to reduce Pakistan to 3-64, while Pat Cummins also took one.

Seen here, Mitchell Starc's two late wickets have Australia well placed to win the first Test.
Mitchell Starc's two late wickets capped off a dominant day three for the Aussies. Pic: AAP

Starc's opening-spell wickets go with his four in the first innings, and come after a difficult Ashes series in which he had been overlooked for all but one Test.

He dismissed captain Azhar Ali lbw on Saturday evening in his second over and nicked off Haris Sohail in his next off another poor shot by the disappointed No.3.

Cummins' wicket also came from an edge, although his ball that angled across Asad Shafiq was much more difficult for the batsman to negotiate.

"The process here is quite simple," Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne said when asked of Sunday's plans.

"Keep bashing the wicket - it looks like Nathan (Lyon) is getting some spin out there, especially to the leftie.

"There's little bit of up and down so, hopefully, we can get a few hitting in the cracks and staying low."

With the bat, Australia will also be pleased.

David Warner hit his first century since the ball-tampering ban, while Joe Burns locked himself in as his opening partner.

Labuschagne looks an answer at No.3, after cracking his first Test century on Saturday with a career-high score of 185.

Matthew Wade also hit a half-century, with Travis Head and Steve Smith the only men in the top six to miss out.

With AAP

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