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
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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.


Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

Updated 10 December 2018
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Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

  • India's last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA in Perth in 2008
  • Kohli confident win sets tourists up for a series win.

ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli said it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.
The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.
It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.
“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.
“Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”
Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.
The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.
“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.
“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”
Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a five for 25 collapse at the end of the second innings.
“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.
“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”
The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.