This magician is holding so much in such a speed that analytics are predicting soon new records are emerging. An achieving milestone so quickly can take him to next level in a time no one has ever thought. Yasir Shah produced a leg spin masterclass on a flat, slow fifth-day pitch to bowl Pakistan to a 133-run win in Abu Dhabi. There was no alarming turn available to Yasir, and hardly any instances of uncertain bounce; he had to draw on all his stamina, skill and intelligence to pick up his eighth five-wicket haul and second ten-wicket match haul in 18 Tests. Yasir bowled 21 of Pakistan’s 46 overs on day five as they bowled West Indies out for 322, chasing an improbable 456, an hour and 15 minutes after lunch.
Yasir took all three wickets that fell in the morning session, teasing out Roston Chase in the tenth over of the morning and using the second new ball to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood, who fell five short of a hundred, and Jason Holder. Shai Hope and Devendra Bishoo made Pakistan wait with an eighth-wicket stand of 45 before Yasir and Zulfiqar Babar took out the last three wickets in the space of four overs.
Yasir rewarded Misbah’s faith, getting the ball to skid on as Blackwood came forward to defend, looking for the turn, and brushed his pads before clattering the stumps. Blackwood, who had lived on the edge on the fourth day, had looked far more assured on the fifth morning, not trying anything extravagant but putting away the smallest lapse in length, such as when he drove Sohail Khan twice to the cover boundary in the first over with the new ball.
Then, in the penultimate over of the session, the tendency for the new ball to skid brought Yasir his fifth wicket. Holder, going on to the back foot to work him through the leg side, couldn’t bring his bat down quick enough. He hesitated too long before deciding to review umpire Richard Illingworth’s lbw decision, which was just as well because the ball was pitching in line and had straightened just enough to hit a good chunk of leg stump.
Hope played Yasir impressively during his innings of 41, his inside-out drives a standout feature, and it was Zulfiqar who eventually dismissed him. Looking to defend off the back foot, he was undone by one that turned more than expected, and Younis Khan fell to his left to take a sharp low catch. Yasir then grabbed his sixth, bowling the left-hander Miguel Cummins when he played inside the line of a leg break, before Zulfiqar wrapped up a victory, slowing it down and getting Devendra Bishoo to miscue a slog-sweep to Misbah-ul-Haq running from midwicket to square leg.
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