DUBAI: Leg-spin is an art and it was on show on the fourth day of the first day-night Test, with Yasir Shah helping Pakistan take a lead while Devendra Bishoo sparking a second innings collapse to set up an exiting finish to the match.
A hosts of leg-spinners have shown their guile at international level, none better than the wily Australian Shane Warne who is still the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket’s history.
Yasir started it all when he took 5-121 and in the process became the second-joint fastest to 100 wickets in his 17th Test. He could have done better had he got a few more wickets than his 19 in the series in England but still a two-year-old career has brought him wickets as well as rewards. England’s George Lohmann was the fastest to 100 wickets in just 16 Tests followed by Australians Charlie Turner and Clarrie Grimmette and England’s Sydney Barnes.
Yasir’s exploits helped Pakistan dismiss West Indies for 357 yet a lead of 222 and 23 more than to follow-on, Misbah-ulHaq opted to bat once again. This is the fourth time Misbah has not enforced follow-on in his captaincy career which is highlighted by his defensive approach, but which has yielded results for him.
Pakistan’s second innings was full of hara-kiri as batsmen tried to play shot every ball and as a result they were bowled out for a paltry 123. Still, a 346-run target will be more than enough for West Indies with the wicket taking a considerable turn and Yasir at his best will not allow the opponents to score freely.
West Indies lost Kraig Brathwaite early and Leon Johnson for 47 and closed the day on 95-2 with Darren Bravo on 26 and Marlon Samuels on four as they still need another 251 for an unlikely win.
The Dubai stadium has transformed a lot. The first two days were dull as there was nothing for bowlers. Only one wicket fell on the first day, three on day two, five on third and xxx on the fourth.
It was Bishoo who extracted enormous turn by pitching the ball outside the off-stump and none of the Pakistani bowler could handle him well. Bishoo got his last seven wickets off 45 balls giving 23 runs, his first five in 40 balls for 21 runs. From 93-3, Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs. Bishoo was at his best after tea, removing Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Nawaz in the same over and then after tea took five wickets to get Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir. His 8-49 in the second best bowling figures by a West Indian against Pakistan, just below Colin Croft’s 8-29 taken in the Port of Spain Test in 1976 when Bishoo was not even born.