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January 29, 2021

Yasir aims to bowl South Africa out early today

Sports

January 29, 2021

KARACHI: Knowing that batting in the fourth innings will not be easy, Pakistan’s experienced leggie Yasir Shah on Thursday said that it was very important for the hosts to dismiss South Africa early in their second innings on the fourth day on Friday (today).

“There is a break in the pitch, although, slow one, and there is bounce also. So we will try to get South Africa out tomorrow as quickly as possible which will eventually help us as we have to bat in the fourth innings,” Yasir told a virtual news conference.

He ripped through the Proteas’ batting late on the third day. He finished the day-3 with 3-53 in 24 overs to reduce South Africa to 187-4 after Pakistan had gained a 158-run first innings lead.

Proteas are now only 29 runs ahead with six wickets in hand.

Aiden Markram (74) and Rassie van der Dussen (64) brought South Africa back in the game with a patient 127-run second wicket partnership. However, the mini collapse just before stumps left the visitors in a precarious situation.

“Our plan was simple. We wanted to squeeze them by keeping accurate line and length. We did not concede many runs and thanks God we got a few quick wickets in the end,” Yasir said.

“When we started bowling today, the wicket was too slow and was giving time to the batsmen but we finally managed to break through their defences,” he said.

Asked whether he has got the rhythm which he needed, Yasir said he was trying to get that. “I am trying to get my rhythm back. In England I was the leading wicket-taker. In New Zealand, too, I got three wickets in an innings in the first Test. Bowling was not that bad but there wasn’t any big performance. I targeted this series and also reduced my weight by four kilogrammes. Younis motivated me a lot and you might have noticed the difference in my bowling and fielding in this game,” Yasir said.

Responding to a query, he said that he had a good pair with Zulfiqar Babar. “Yes, I had a good pair with Zulfiqar Babar and that was helping. But Nauman Ali also bowled well and off-spinner Sajid Khan, sitting out there, is also a good bowler and has plenty of variety. InshaAllah they will do well,” Yasir said.

He said that the team would make every effort to win this series. “We have not won a series for a long time and we will try our best to seal a victory this time,” he said.

Yasir said that he has been in contact with Mushtaq Ahmed and Shane Warne. “Yes, I have been in contact with Mushi bhai and also communicate with Shane Warne through twitter. Saqlain bhai also motivated me enough during his stay here. He told me to keep my action simple. So I am trying to learn from them,” he said.

About his plans for the rest of South African batsmen in this Test, Yasir said: “The plan is simple and that is to hit the right area. You cannot take any batsman easy.” He said Markram played the spinners quite well.