Yasir spins Pakistan to thumping win in Dubai Test

Men in Green register an innings and 16-run win against New Zealand to make it 1-1 in three-match series


News Desk November 27, 2018
PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Yasir Shah’s magnificent bowling performance was enough for Pakistan to register a thumping an innings and 16-run win in the second Test of the three-match series in Dubai on Tuesday.

After losing the first Test from a winning situation, the Men in Green came under severe criticism. Therefore, the onus was on the home side to put a much better show and win back the hearts of the supporters, and that’s what they ended up doing in a pretty straight forward win.

With the bat, the home side put a rather cautious – but solid – performance and declared after scoring 418 for the loss of five wickets.

The two stars with the bat in hand for the Green Caps was young Haris Sohail and Babar Azam, as both scored centuries for the team.

Sohail showed great composure and temperament to score 147 runs off 421 balls. His innings included 13 fours.

On the other hand, Azam, who finally registered his first century in the longest format of the game, remained unbeaten on 127 off 263 balls with the help of 12 fours and two maximums.

For the Black Caps, it was a real struggle with the ball in hand as they were out on the field for 167 overs and only managed to claim five wickets, where pacer Colin de Grandhomme had the best figures of two for 44.

The Kiwis’ misery did not end with dismal outing in the field, as the same disaster was waiting for them in the batting department, all thanks to the brilliance of Shah.

In the first innings, the Black Caps batsmen had no answer to Shah’s magic as they were bundled out for just 90. Following that, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed enforced the follow-on, which was the first instance in the history of Test cricket in the United Arab Emirates.

In the second innings, the Kane Williamson-led did put up a much better show but were bowled out for 312.

The 32-year-old Shah claimed figures of 14-184 in the match, which also included his career-best figures of 8-41 in the first innings, for which he was named player of the match.

Talking at the post-match presentation, Shah expressed his satisfaction after a match-winning performance. “It was satisfying for sure,” said Shah. “I feel really good about it. More so because my rhythm is back as before I was struggling because of not playing cricket due to injury for long time. The conditions were supportive as well and I was getting a lot of break. After the disappointment in the last match, we as a unit, really wanted to put up a better show and bring smiles on the faces of the supporters.”

Pakistan captian Sarfraz also heaped praise on the leg-spinner, and revealed that Shah’s first innings spell was the best he ‘has ever seen’.

“Yasir’s spell was the best I’ve ever seen,” said Sarfraz while talking at the presentation following the match. “Yasir deserve all the credit as he was the match-winner for his. But I would also like to mention Hasan Ali specially for providing great support to Yasir. Credit should also be given to the Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Haris Sohail for the way they batted. The pitch was not easy and the only way to score was by spending time in the middle.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson also praised Shah’s bowling performance, and said that his spell in the third session on day three was the difference in the end.

“Shah’s performance in the first innings was the difference in the end,” he said. “Damage was done in that one session. He is an exceptional bowler and he bowled really well.”

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