History man Yasir Shah tells Pakistan to focus on victory charge in Abu Dhabi

Yasir Shah has entered the record books but is now more interested in making sure Pakistan best New Zealand in the UAE. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018

History man Yasir Shah tells Pakistan to focus on victory charge in Abu Dhabi

  • Spin king urges teammates to ensure victory over the Black Caps.
  • Williamson masterclass puts Kiwis in strong position heading into last day.

LONDON: Yasir Shah has urged his Pakistan teammates not to let their chance of a series win over New Zealand slip after he entered the record books as the fastest man to take 200 Test wickets.
The spin king needed just one wicket to break the record set 82 years ago by the great Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who had needed 36 Tests to reach the milestone.
When Yasir trapped nightwatchman Will Somerville LBW for four with his 13th delivery of the day, he reached the 200-wicket mark in just his 33rd Test.
“Ever since I knew this record it became my dream be the fastest to 200 wickets and it came true today,” said Yasir.
It is a remarkable record and says everything about the bowler who in just four years has become the most prolific and feared spinner in the world. But it also says a lot about the state of this third and final Test between the hosts and the Black Caps that the day did not totally belong to the history maker.
Yasir was forced to share the spoils with the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson whose 139 not out put the tourists in a good position heading into the final day in Abu Dhabi.
The Kiwis reached 272 for four by the close to give them a lead of 198. And having failed to chase 176 in the first Test Yasir is only too aware that a good start is vital today to give Pakistan the best shot at winning the three-match series 2-1.
“The wicket is slow but it is turning from the patches. We want to bowl them and try to go for the chase,” the 32-year-old said. “That is what we are going to try as there is still one full day left in the match.”
Having seen Yasir take the early wicket of Somerville Pakistan sensed the chance of an emphatic win when Shaheen Shah Afridi had Ross Taylor caught hooking for 22 with the total at 60 for four, the Kiwis still 14 behind the hosts first-innings total.
But another Williamson masterclass — his 19th Test ton — put paid to any ideas of an easy win as he and Henry Nicholls (90 not out) gave the Kiwis the edge.

Man United manager refuses to blame Pogba after penalty miss

Updated 20 August 2019

Man United manager refuses to blame Pogba after penalty miss

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he allows both Pogba and Rashford to take spot kicks

WOLVERHAMPTON: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame Paul Pogba after the Manchester United star missed a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves after taking spot-kick duties from Marcus Rashford.

Pogba wasted a chance to give United their second successive Premier League win when his penalty was saved by Wolves keeper Rui Patricio.

It was the fourth missed penalty by Pogba since the start of last season. The French midfielder appeared to tell Rashford that he wanted to take it, even though his United teammate had scored from the spot against Chelsea last weekend.

United manager Solskjaer said he allows both Pogba and Rashford to take spot kicks.

“The two of them are the designated  penalty shooters and it’s up to them there and then who feels ‘this is mine’,” he said.

“Sometimes players just feel they are confident enough to score. Paul has scored so many penalties for us and today Rui Patricio made a good save.

“The two of them have been very confident. I like players with confidence and the feeling that ‘I can do this’.”

Former United star Gary Neville called on Solskjaer to resolve the issue before his team’s next penalty.

“They should decide in the dressing room who is the penalty taker — it’s embarrassing,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“This is a Manchester United penalty, this not a tombola, this is not under-fives on the school field.

“Rashford scored last week — take the penalty. But there wasn’t a leader out there. Something wasn’t right.”

Rashford revealed Pogba had said he wanted to take the kick and, publicly at least, the England striker had no problem with that.

“Paul wanted to take it, it’s that simple. Everybody can miss a penalty. He’s scored countless penalties for us so it’s normal to miss one.

“I took one last week so for me it’s no problem for him to take one this week.

“It’s unfortunate he didn’t score but it’s not on him, it’s as a team and we take it forward to the next game.”

It was a disappointing result for United after they dominated the opening period, with Solskjaer admitting they lost their way in a “sloppy” second half.

“First half was a mature performance. Second half was a bit sloppy. We are improving. We are a young team who will learn, we learned on the pitch today,” Solskjaer said.

“Wolves probably got the goal they deserve. I thought we took control again and could have won it.

“We get a penalty that normally would get us another two points, sometimes the keeper makes a good save.”

Solskjaer also refused to rule out Chile forward Alexis Sanchez leaving United before the close of the European transfer window.

Sanchez has been linked with a move to Inter Milan and was missing from United’s matchday squad at Molineux.

“Well, there’s still a couple of weeks left of the transfer window and there is a chance,” Solskjaer said.

“Some clubs have shown interest in Alexis, so we’ll see what happens. I can’t update you more than that.

“There are a few weeks for international transfers to go through but at the moment he’s our player.”