Yasir on speed, Kiwis nose ahead
Abu Dhabi, december 6
Record-breaking Yasir Shah had to share the day’s honours with New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson here today as the third and final Test heads towards a gripping finish. The early part of the morning belonged to Shah, who collected the one wicket he needed to become the fastest man to reach 200 wickets in Test cricket. The rest of the day, however, belonged to Williamson, who played a masterly innings and was 139 not out as the Kiwis reached 272/4 by the close.
Williamson had great support from Henry Nicholls, who made 90 not out, during an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 212 that has given New Zealand a lead of 198 with six wickets remaining. With the series tied at 1-1, the final day of this last Test promises to be fascinating with both sides capable of winning.
The day began in high anticipation with New Zealand resuming at 26/2 and Shah taking the ball to bowl the third over. He needed just one wicket to break a record set 82 years ago by the great Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett, who had needed 36 Tests to reach the milestone of 200 Test wickets. When Shah trapped nightwatchman Will Somerville leg-before 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 to take fastest 200 wickets and it came true today,” said Shah, who still hopes Pakistan can pull off a win.
“The wicket is slow but it is turning from the patches. We want to bowl them and try to go for the chase. That is what we are going to try as there is still one full day left in the match.”