Pakistan v NZ Men's - Tests

Yasir spins into Test history books

Leg-spinner races to 200 Test wickets in record time

Sam Ferris

06 December 2018, 05:45 PM

Pakistan ace Yasir Shah has become the fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets, eclipsing the 82-year-old record of champion Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett. 

Yasir removed New Zealand nightwatchman and debutant Will Somerville lbw early on day four of the third Test in Abu Dhabi to bring up his 200th Test wicket in just his 33rd Test.

Grimmett set the record in February 1936 against South Africa in his 36th match, a mark that stood for more than eight decades before Yasir spun his way into the history books.

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Yasir has achieved the record in a little more than four years after making his Test debut against Australia in October 2014 in Dubai, where he collected seven wickets in his maiden match.

He's since gone on to take five wickets in an innings on 16 occasions and collect three 10-wicket match hauls.

Yasir was on track to beat Grimmett's mark ahead of the series against the Black Caps but accelerated to the record after taking 14 wickets in Pakistan's second Test win over New Zealand in Dubai.

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His figures of 14-184 are the second-best ever for Pakistan, behind the legendary Imran Khan's 14-116 against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 1982.

Yasir's spell left Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur stunned in awe.

"That first-innings (8-41) – I think there was that spell for about half an hour that was some of the best leg-spin bowling you'll ever see – the drift, the pace, the spin, it was phenomenal," Arthur said.

"Fourteen wickets in a Test match is superb."