Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Yasir produces Warne-like ‘Ball of the Century’

Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah’s delivery that left the well-set Sri Lanka top-order batter Kusal Mendis in a daze on Day 3 of the first Test here on Monday has emerged as a candidate for ‘Ball of the Century’, with many comparing it to the magical delivery of late Australian spin wizard Shane Warne to Mike Gatting on the second day of the first Test of the 1993 Ashes series, at Old Trafford on June 4, 1993.
While Warne produced the ‘Ball of the Century’ during the 20th century, Shah, the 36-year-old Pakistan veteran spinner, has laid claims to doing something similar in the 21st century following his amazing leg-spin delivery, which clean bowled in-form right hander Mendis for 76.
Quite similar to Warne’s delivery in Manchester 29 years ago, Shah’s delivery pitched outside leg stump before turning sharply to the left and clipping the top of Mendis’ off-stump.
It immediately brought back memories of Warne’s magical delivery to dismiss Gatting, with commentators making an instant comparison between the two deliveries, according to ICC.
While it will be difficult to surpass Warne’s stunning ball, Yasir certainly went close as he produced a delivery that is sure to be talked about over the coming years.
Jayasuriya produces absolute ripper
Sri Lanka spinner Prabath Jayasuriya produced an absolute ripper to dismiss Pakistan’s talismanic captain Babar Azam. Babar, well set in Pakistan’s chase on Day 4 of the first Test, was beaten all ends up by Jayasuriya’s brilliant delivery, NDTV reported. The left-arm spinner, coming from over the wicket, bowled it on the rough outside leg. The Pakistan skipper looked to pad it away, but the ball instead went around his legs and clattered onto the stumps.
Babar Azam, who had scored a heroic 119 in the first innings, fell for 55 in the visitors’ second essay at the Galle International Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing 342, Pakistan were 222/3 at Stumps on Day 4.
In the first innings, Sri Lanka were bundled out for 222 after they opted to bat, with Dinesh Chandimal’s 76 helping take them to a respectable score.
In response, Pakistan were rattled by Prabath Jayasuriya’s 5-wicket haul. However, Babar Azam stood tall and scored a magnificent century, and his solo effort ensured Pakistan only conceded a four-run first innings lead to the hosts.
Oshada Fernando (64) and Kusal Mendis (76) then hit half-centuries, while Chandimal shone with the bat again as Sri Lanka scored 337 in their second innings, setting a 342-run target for Pakistan.
Chandimal fell just six runs short of a well-deserved century as he was stranded on 94.
In their chase, Pakistan began strongly until Imam-ul-Haq was stumped off Ramesh Mendis’ bowling. Azhar Ali fell soon after, but Babar joined opener Abdullah Shafique and put the visitors in the driving seat.
Shafique ended the day unbeaten on 112, with Mohammad Rizwan alongside him at the crease.
Pakistan need 120 runs to win on the final day, with seven wickets in hand.


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