It took a lot of grit, resolve and determination and some luck to go his way for Yasir Shah to claim his maiden Test ton – 113 off 213 balls on December 1 against Australia. Pakistan’s lower order put up a stubborn fight and refused to succumb even though they got virtually no support from the more capable batsmen at the top. And Yasir Shah instigated the fight and led them from the front.
Yasir Shah’s century was a combination of grit, determination and some adventure. But he also found a generous opposition in Australia, who gave him three reprieves – when he was on 35, 43 and 106.
“When we were on our way to the ground in the morning, I had this thought in my mind that I will bat throughout the day,” Yasir Shah’s said. “And if I bat throughout the day, I will make a century. That was exactly what I was talking to my friends Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa about this morning. Then, I went to the nets and batted, and kept thinking about batting throughout the day.
“I tried my best to make sure I spend a lot of time at the crease. When you do that, you get set and you find batting becomes easier. It’s tough against this world-class Australian bowling attack, and to score a century against them was good.”
Yasir Shah struck two boundaries to move to 94 and then spent 17 nervy deliveries before leaping in joy for having crossed the landmark. He was nearly dismissed on 99 when he chipped a Josh Hazlewood delivery just over Pat Cummins at mid-on to complete the single. “I was so excited and happy,” he gushed. “It’s a dream to score a century in Adelaide and on an Australian tour. At that point, I wasn’t aware of what I was doing really but I know I jumped in the air and swung my bat around. And I enjoyed it a lot. It was great fun.”
Yasir Shah also lauded David Warner, who scored an unbeaten 335 to put Australia in a dominant position. The legspinner leaked 197 runs from his 32 overs and failed to pick a wicket as his poor returns in Australia continued to trouble him.
“I was trying to perform at my best even the last time I came here,” Yasir Shah pointed out. “It’s every spinner’s wish to do well in Australia because that raises your image and profile. I’ve put in a lot of hard work. The last time I bowled too fast. And I was bowling at a faster pace than what I wanted to hear, too, and I didn’t use my variations well.
“David Warner played well to score a triple-ton. He didn’t let me settle and get my lines and lengths. And, at times, he even scored runs of our good balls. And he’s too good a batsman to miss out on our bad balls.”
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