Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah broke an 82 year old record when he became the fastest to reach 200 test wickets.
Shah achieved the feat on the fourth day of the third and final Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi when he trapped Black Caps debutant Will Somerville leg before wicket for 4 on the first ball of the 21st over. He has reached this milestone in just 33 games, surpassing the all time previous record held by Australian leg spinner Clarrie Grimmett (36 tests, v SA in Johannesburg 1936). Shah’s 33 tests also saw him surpass legendary pacer Waqar Younis, who took 38 tests to achieve the feat.
The 32 year old leg spinner has been quite a revelation in this series, bagging 22 wickets in in the first two tests. He took 14 in the previous test in Dubai (8/41 and 6/143), equalling the legendary Imran Khan’s record for most wickets by a Pakistan bowler in a test match, to help Mickey Arthur’s side level the series.
He is the seventh Pakistani bowler to pick up 200 or more wickets in tests, adding his name to a list that also includes Waqar, Imran, Wasim Akram, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Qadir and Saqlain Mushtaq.
In the third test against the Kiwis, Shah has bagged five more wickets so far to take his series tally to 27. He could end up breaking the Pakistani record for most wickets in a three test series (30), set by Abdul Qadir against England three decades ago.
Shah made his test debut against Australia in Dubai four years ago in October 2014 and reached the 100 wicket mark in just seventeen tests.
At the end of Day 4, New Zealand finished on 272/4 thanks to a fantastic 212 run stand between skipper Kane Williamson, who scored his 19th century and Henry Nicholls, who was unbeaten on 90 at stumps. Shah himself sent down 37 overs, the most among the six bowlers used by skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, and finished with 2/106 at the end of the day.