DUBAI - Like so often in the past, Yasir Shah did it once again for Pakistan — this time against a clueless New Zealand team on the third day of the second Test on Monday.

An eight-wicket haul for 41 runs, the third-best figures ever by a Pakistan bowler, saw the leg spinner ripping through the visitors’ batting line-up in the first innings to skittle them out for 90 runs to take his team to within sights of a big win and level the three-Test series.

The Pakistan greats ahead of Shah’s career-best effort had been leg spin great Abdul Qadir (9-56) and seam Yasir magic floors Kiwis on damp third day exponent Sarfraz Nawaz (9-86), but it looks a matter of time before the wily spinner overhauls both these figures against touring teams in the UAE — found wanting in the technique of playing spin. The stocky bowler’s ability to give a ball a rip — along withthe third day wicket where the ball was often turning square — proved to be a source of nightmare for the visitors who did not show a positive intent to take him on.

Following on adrift 328 runs of Pakistan’s first innings total of 418 for five declared, opener Tom Latham and Ross Taylor showed a far greater character to finish the day at 131 for the loss of two wickets — putting on an unbroken 65-run stand for the third wicket. Senior pro Taylor, who fell to Shah for no score in the first innings, decided to take the leg spinner on as he dispatched a short delivery over mid wicket for the first six of the Kiwis in this Test far.

The odds are very much stacked against the visitors, who are trailing by 197 runs with eight wickets in hands but has two full days to bat through if they want to force the most unlikeliest of draws. There is no forecast of rains after the cloudburst on Sunday night, but they will need an intervention from the raingods if they want to carry over the 1-0 lead to the final Test in Abu Dhabi.

As Dubai woke up to a damp morning on Monday, the chances of having any action looked remote. However, once the rains had stopped, the excellent drainage system at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium ensured that the match was delayed by barely an hour. Resuming at an overnight score of 24 for one, Kiwi openers Latham and Jeet Raval carried on with a sense of discipline and took the score past 50 when Raval was bowled for a composed 31 to hand Shah his first wicket.

A scoreline of 50 for one did not look ominous at all but disaster was waiting to strike round the corner. It was the 28th over of the innings when Shah snapped up three wickets (Latham, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls) to scar the visitors so badly from which they could never recover during the innings. New Zealand broke for lunch at 63 for four with a glimmer of hope to put up a fight as skipper Kane Williamson and Bradley-John Watling were still at the crease — but the hopes were dashed soon after lunch as the innings folded up after merely 35.3 overs.

From 50-1, it became 61-2 when Shah had Latham caught at short leg by Imam ul-Haq off the first ball of his ninth over. Two balls later, he bowled Taylor and then cleaned up Henry Nicholls with his fifth delivery through the gap between bat and pad. The classy leg spinner now boasts of the following figures: 12.3-1-41-8 and 15-2-65-2 and it’s anybody’s guess as to where he would finish in this Test match.




Jeet Raval b Yasir 31

Tom Latham c Imam b Yasir 22

Kane Williamson not out 28

Ross Taylor b Yasir 0

Henry Nicholls b Yasir 0

BJ Watling run out 1

Colin de Grandhomme lbw Hasan 0

Ish Sodhi c Sarfraz b Yasir 0

Neil Wagner lbw Yasir 0

Ajaz Patel lbw Yasir 4

Trent Boult st Sarfraz b Yasir 0

EXTRAS: (3lb, 1 nb) 4

TOTAL: (all out, 35.3 overs) 90

FOW: 1/50, 2/61, 3/61, 4/61, 5/63, 6/69, 7/72, 8/72, 9/90, 10/10.

BOWLING: Abbas 9-4-18-0, Hasan Ali 10-5-25-1, Hafeez 2-1-1-0, Yasir Shah 12.3-1-41-8, Bilal Asif 2-1-2-0.


Jeet Raval st Sarfraz b Yasir 2

Tom Latham not out 44

K Williamson c Sarfraz b Yasir 30

Ross Taylor not out 49

EXTRAS: (4b, 2 lb) 6

TOTAL: (2 wkts, 43 overs) 131

FOW: 1/10, 2/66.

BOWLING: Abbas 4-1-11-0, Hasan Ali 5-3-5-0, Yasir 16-2-65-2, Hafeez 3-1-6-0, Bilal Asif 14-1-30-0, Haris 2-0-8-0.

TOSS: Pakistan