When it seemed like the second ever day-night Test was meandering without too much action, two leg-spinners were at the forefront of a riveting day in the opening match between Pakistan and West Indies at Dubai. While Yasir Shah registered his seventh five-wicket haul and etched his name in the record books, Devendra Bishoo managed to outdo him with an exhilarating spell.
The Caribbean outfit began the fourth day requiring a further 66 runs to avoid the follow-on. After Yasir made short work of their lower-order, Misbah still had the option at hand. However, like most other modern-day captains, he was reluctant to enforce it and instead decided to bat again in a bid to push for quick runs before the pitch would deteriorate during the subsequent day.
But, Pakistan’s surge was dented by a career best performance from Bishoo. The 30-year old from Guyana scythed through the powerful batting lineup in a whirlwind spell. Following the early wicket of the first-innings triple centurion Azhar Ali off an in swinger from Shannon Gabriel, Holder introduced the leg-spinner into the equation as early as in the sixth over itself.
Bishoo immediately made an impact by getting rid of Asad Shafiq with a straighter delivery. Opener Sami Aslam and the promising Babar Azam attempted to bring sanity to the proceedings with a 57-run partnership. But, by now, the surface was starting to support spin to a significant extent with the rough in the business area making matters worse for the batsmen.
Without accounting for the drift, Azam tried to force the initiative but could only chop on to his stumps. Aslam joined his compatriot following an ill-fated late cut and skipper Misbah ul Haq walked into the crease keen to do what he often does – solidify the innings. But, the veteran’s uncharacteristic rash stroke left Pakistan in a spot of bother. Bishoo utilized the rough to account for the newcomer Mohammad Nawaz.
In the final session, he prised out the key scalp of Sarfraz Ahmed by luring the wicket-keeper batsman out of his crease. The wrist-spinner wrapped things up by castling Mohammad Amir to end up with astounding figures of 13.5-1-49-8. Having taken a couple of wickets in the first-innings, Bishoo registered his maiden ten-wicket match haul to give West Indies a fighting chance to mount a comeback in their second-innings.
Key Stats from Bishoo’s Spell
Bishoo’s second-innings figures of 8-49 is the best ever by a visiting bowler in Asia after bettering Lance Klusener’s 8/64 against India at Eden Gardens in 1996.
Bishoo also registered the fifth best bowling figures ever by a leg-spinner in Tests and the best since Anil Kumble’s 10-74 at Feroz Shah Kotla against Pakistan in 1999.
The 456-run difference between the Pakistan’s first-innings and second-innings totals is the joint-highest in Test history alongside West Indies’ effort against India at Wankhede in 2011.
Bishoo’s second-innings figures is also the fifth-best ever by a West Indies bowler in Tests behind Jack Noregia’s 9/95, Colin Croft’s 8/29, Lance Gibbs’ 8/38 and Curtly Ambrose’s 8/45.