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'Came to the ground with the intention of batting throughout the day' - Yasir Shah
Pakistan News

'Came to the ground with the intention of batting throughout the day' - Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah managed to grab the headlines on day three of the second Test against Australia, though not for his crafty leg-spin as many would expect but with a tenacious century - the first of his Test career.

The 33-year-old's remarkable resolve at the crease, which allowed him to dethrone Babar Azam as the top-scorer for his team in the first innings, helped Pakistan avoid the utter humiliation of being defeated inside three days.

Although the tourists still seem destined for an innings defeat, marking their 14th consecutive Test loss in the country, Yasir's dogged effort against an intimidating pace attack cannot be overlooked.

When Pakistan's batsmen timidly surrendered to the pink ball under floodlights on day two and began Sunday's proceedings at 96-6, no one really predicted a resilient batting display from the unlikeliest of heroes.

Yasir, meanwhile, claimed the idea of reaching the three-figure landmark score lingered in the back of his mind as he made his way to the Adelaide Oval in the morning.

“When I was coming to the ground in the morning, I had thought of batting throughout the day and I would be able to make a hundred," Yasir told reporters.

"That is exactly what I was discussing with my friends Muhammad Musa and Naseem Shah in the morning. Then I went to the nets and kept thinking of batting all day."

Despite the talk surrounding the threat posed by the pink ball given its supposed pronounced seam, it got easier for the batsmen to score runs and grow in confidence on a flat deck under overcast conditions.

Yasir also shed light on his batting partner Babar's 97-run knock laced with immaculate drives, which helped him settle in his groove.

“When I came in to bat, my aim was to provide support to the [recognized] batsman and bat for the entire day.

"The way Babar Azam was playing in the morning, batting looked easier for me. I tried my best to stay at the crease as long as possible and it gradually became easier for me."

"It’s tough to do that against a world-class Australian bowling attack but I was successful in scoring a century against them," he added.

'There was pressure on me when I was on 99'

Having never gotten close to a century previously across his lengthy first-class career, Yasir admitted he felt slightly overwhelmed by the occasion, particularly when a single run separated him from the magical figure.

“I have scored 10 [seven] fifties in first-class cricket with 71 being my highest score. This is my first century and I am really happy about it.

"I was very excited as well and there was pressure, especially when I was on 99, since I had never scored a century in either Test or first-class cricket.”

He then got to his hundred by chipping the ball over mid-on and ran off to the non-striker's end to launch an outlandish celebration.

“When I got to my century, at that point I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was very excited so I jumped in the air and waved the bat as well. It was a dream come true for me and I enjoyed it," he related.

While his rare batting heroics were in the limelight, Yasir's abject performances with the ball have been a genuine concern for Pakistan.

Upon being asked about his expensive returns in the first innings and his overall horrendous record in Australia, he spoke about the lack of assistance from the pitch.

“Spinners don’t get a lot of support when bowling in the first innings during a Test match in Australia. I was trying to perform and execute my plans but unfortunately, you sometimes fail," Yasir said as his bowling average now touches 90 down under.

“It is difficult [to bowl] when you are trying to support the fast bowlers or control the flow of runs from the other end."

"The pitch offered more to pacers which is why the Australian batters decided to attack me. I tried to maintain tight lines but erred in doing so which is why I leaked too many runs.”