Yasir Shah took five wickets for 64 runs to help Pakistan take hold of the first Test against England at Lord’s on Friday.
The diminutive spinner produced a magnificent spell of bowling to restrict England to 253-7 at the close of play on day two – after Alastair Cook and Joe Root had looked to be guiding the hosts to an imposing total at the home of cricket.
Cook, England’s top scorer on the day with 81, became the most prolific opening batsman in Test history midway shortly after tea after surpassing Sunil Gavaskar’s 29-year record of 9,607 runs as an opener.
Yet if all the attention on the young offender had allowed Yasir to pass under the radar in the build-up to this Test then the best leg-spinner in world cricket made his presence felt by shaking England out of their pre-series complacency.
What a chastening Test this is turning out to be for an England side who sent out all the wrong signals with a cautious and conservative selection that appeared to under-estimate Pakistan’s chances of making an impact here.
And what a fight England now have to stop themselves going one down in this four-Test Investec series after being demolished by a leg-spinner who had so little to work with on a second day Lord’s pitch devoid of turn and bounce.
Yasir had never played a Test outside Asia before this game but he quickly announced himself to an English audience as much more than a Lionel Messi lookalike who fell foul of authority for taking his wife’s blood pressure medicine.
It was looking good for England when Alastair Cook and Joe Root, back up to No3 where he was surely meant to be, took them to 118 for one in reply to 339 all out, Amir struggling for swing and suffering from Pakistan’s fielding lapses.
Courtesy Daily Mail