By Matt Smith
DUBAI (Reuters) – Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah should be the bowler England most fear when the tourists bat again, team mate Wahab Riaz said on Saturday after the duo picked up six wickets between them on a humbling morning for Alastair Cook’s men.
England began the day on 182 for three, but were back in the pavilion before lunch after being bowled out for 242 on the third day of the second test in Dubai.
Having each taken a wicket on Friday, Yasir finished with 4-93 and seamer Wahab 4-66 before Pakistan’s batsmen raced to 222 for three by the close. The hosts lead by 358.
“I think Yasir Shah will be a key player tomorrow,” said Wahab, whose remark seemed to suggest that Pakistan expect to declare on the fourth day.
“There is a lot of spin in the track right now. For the kind of score we are looking for, if you put that much of a target, England will be under pressure and it is not easy to play spin on here.”
Wahab sparked England’s collapse, luring Root (88) into an unnecessary swipe outside off-stump, the ball deflecting into a diving Sarfraz Ahmed’s gloves.
The world’s No.2 batsman trudged back to the pavilion and tourists went on to lose their final seven wickets for just 36 runs.
“Obviously, Root is a very good player, a very aggressive player, so we know he us a very important person to get out,” Wahab told reporters.
“We thought by getting him we could dry up the runs and put pressure on the incoming batsmen. That is what happened.”
Wahab was tireless, bowling nine overs straight in the morning. This spell included a included a brutal four-over period that yielded three wickets for just one run, while overall his first innings figures were his second-best in test cricket.
“At times it happens where you bowl really well but don’t get a wicket,” he added.
“Sometimes it happens that you can get a wicket on a bad ball. In cricket you always have to put effort into it. I think I was quite lucky to get wickets on these tracks.”
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)