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Day 3 2nd Test Pakistan v New Zealand - Spellbound New Zealand mesmerised by Yasir

Yasir Shah celebrates a wicket
©Reuters
 

The third day of the Dubai Test was a one-man show as New Zealand batsmen succumbed to a devastating spell of wrist spin from Yasir Shah.

On either side of lunch, the Kiwis collapsed from 50-0 to 90 all out in a matter of just 13.5 overs. It was an extraordinary passage of play, at this level of the game. A rare three-wicket maiden by Yasir, send back Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, allowing Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, to place more fielders in catching positions and eventually strangling the late order.

Captain Kane Williamson (28 not out), standing helpless at the mon-striker’s end, underwent a horrible experience. After coming one down, he watched nine of his team mates perish in no time, seven of them to Yasir, who after a relatively quite start on the third morning, suddenly looked almost unplayable. The 32-year old pathan from Swabi in the KPK province, bowled superbly with great rhythm and deserved the rich harvest. Besides eight wickets of his own, he had a hand in the running out of wicket-keeper B.J.Watling. Last eight New Zealand batsmen failed to reach double figures, with six not even troubling the scorers.

Numerically at least, Yasir, has never bowled better, than today in Dubai.

He ranks alongside, Amir Elahi (1951-53), Intikhab Alam (1959-77), Abdul Qadir (1977-91), Mushtaq Ahmed (1989-2001) and Danish Kaneria (2000-10), as Pakistan’s chain of accomplished leg-spinners, over the last seven decades. A late developer, Yasir is making up for the lost time and naturally revelling in his success. Sadly he is yet to play a Test in front of Pakistan crowd but has showed his liking for UAE, where now in 16 games he has picked up 100 wickets. 

Whilst picking up a Test-best 8-41 in 12.3 overs, Yasir broke many records, both national and international. His figures are the best in UAE by any bowler and he became the first Pakistan bowler to take 10 wickets in a day’s play and his final analysis places him third amongst his countrymen behind Abdul Qadir’s 9-53 and Sarfraz Nawaz’s 9-86. He also went past South Africa’s Godfrey Lawrence 8-53 in 1961-62, as the best ever bowling figures against New Zealand in a Test.

New Zealand in their second innings, following-on, closed on 131 for 2, still way behind in making Pakistan bat again. Both second-innings wickets, including that of Williamson, too have been snapped by Yasir. It is far from a spiteful wicket and Yasir’s display today will rank, amongst one of the best by a leg-spinner, in the modern times.

©Cricket World 2018