Yasir Shah sets new record as quickest bowler to take 200 Test wickets breaking 82-year-old mark

Pakistani spinner Yasir Shah, center, celebrates with teammates after breaking the fastest to 200 Test wickets record during the fourth day of the third and final Test cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 6, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Yasir Shah sets new record as quickest bowler to take 200 Test wickets breaking 82-year-old mark

  • Yasir has taken just 33 Tests to reach the magical milestone.
  • Spin king breaks record set by fellow leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who took his 200 scalps in 36 Tests.

ABU DHABI: Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah Thursday became the fastest cricketer to take 200 Test wickets, breaking an 82-year-old record on the fourth day of the third Test against New Zealand.
The 32-year-old trapped nightwatchman Will Somerville leg before for four — his second wicket of the New Zealand second innings — to reach the milestone in his 33rd Test, beating Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett’s record of 36 Tests achieved against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1936.
Yasir, whose 14 wickets helped Pakistan level the series 1-1 in Dubai, now has 27 wickets in the three Tests against New Zealand.
His 14 for 184 were the second best match figures in a Test for Pakistan, behind former captain and current prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who bagged 14 for 116 against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 1982.
New Zealand, resuming at 26 for 2 on Thursday, fell to 37 for 3 after Yasir removed Somerville and were still needing 37 runs to make Pakistan bat again.
Yasir began the Abu Dhabi Test with 195 wickets in 32 Tests and on the opening day grabbed three early wickets but BJ Watling resisted with 77 not out, leaving him having to complete his landmark in the second innings.
Since taking seven wickets on debut against Australia in 2014, Yasir has been a key figure in Pakistan’s Test team.
He took 12 wickets in that 2-0 series win over Australia in United Arab Emirates in 2014 and followed that with 15 against New Zealand in a 1-1 draw the same year.
That was followed by 24 wickets against Sri Lanka in 2015 and 10 in a match to beat England at Lord’s a year later. He took 21 and 25 wickets respectively in series wins over the West Indies.
Yasir was also the fastest Pakistani to 50 wickets (nine Tests), reached 100 wickets in 17 Tests — second only to Englishman George Lohmann who took 16 matches during a Test in Johannesburg in 1896.


Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019
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Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 


“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 


“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”