Yasir Shah got to the milestone in his ninth Test © AFP
Yasir Shah got to the milestone in his ninth Test © AFP

Yasir Shah picked up his 50th wicket in his 9th Test match, which is the quickest by any Pakistan bowler. Bharath Seervi highlights Yasir’s feat with some stats.

Fifty wickets from nine Test is a feat unmatched by any Pakistan bowler. Yasir Shah became the quickest Pakistan player to reach the feat. The previous record was 10 Tests held by Waqar Younis, Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammad Asif. ALSO READ: Yasir Shah achieves new milestone during Sri Lanka-Pakistan 2nd Test at Colombo

The 29-year old leg-spinner made his Test debut last year against Australia and has not missed a Test since then. He picked up 7 for 116 on debut and has turned out to be an important member of Pakistan. From 9 Tests he has picked up 54 wickets with three five-wicket hauls in addition to three other four-fors.

Yasir Shah’s 9 Tests

Test First innings Second Innings Match aggregate Against Venue Date
1 3/66 4/50 7/116 Australia Dubai 22-Oct-14
2 2/47 3/44 5/91 Australia Abu Dhabi 30-Oct-14
3 1/65 3/74 4/139 New Zealand Abu Dhabi 09-Nov-14
4 2/92 5/79 7/171 New Zealand Dubai 17-Nov-14
5 4/193 4/193 New Zealand Sharjah 26-Nov-14
6 3/86 0/123 3/209 Bangladesh Khulna 28-Apr-15
7 3/58 4/73 7/131 Bangladesh Dhaka 06-May-15
8 2/79 7/79 9/155 Sri Lanka Galle 17-Jun-15
9 6/96 2/55 8/151 Sri Lanka P Sara Oval 25-Jun-15

– Yasir took at least one wicket in 16 of the 17 innings he bowled in. His only barren innings was against Bangladesh!
– Yasir has taken 5 or more wickets in 6 out of 9 Tests.
– Yasir is quickest Pakistani to 50 wickets, but has somehow not earned a single Man of the Match award.

Quickest Pakistan bowlers to take 50 wickets

Bowler Style Tests Year
Yasir Shah Leg-spin 9 2015
Waqar Younis Right-arm fast 10 1990
Shabbir Ahmed Right-arm fast 10 2005
Mohammad Asif Right-arm fast 10 2007
Khan Mohammad Right-arm fast 11 1956
Saeed Ajmal Off-spin 11 2011
Abdur Rehman Left-arm spin 11 2011

It is to be noted that of seven bowlers, five have achieved it in this century.

Yasir is also the joint second-quickest spinner to take 50 Test wickets after Alf Valentine (8 Tests).

Quickest spinners to take 50 test wickets

Bowler Style Matches Year
Alf Valentine Left-arm spin 8 1951
Bobby Peel Left-arm spin 9 1888
Arthur Mailey Leg-spin 9 1921
Stuart MacGill Leg-spin 9 1999
Ravichandran Ashwin Off-spin 9 2012
Yasir Shah Leg-spin 9 2015

– As is evident, Yasir is the joint-quickest leg-spinner to 50 Test wickets along with Arthur Mailey and Stuart MacGill.

With Yasir becoming the quickest Pakistan bowler to reach 50 Test wickets, let us have a look at the other countries.

Quickest bowlers to take 50 test wickets for each team

Team Bowler Style Matches Year
Australia Charlie Turner Right-arm fast 6 1888
Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan Left-arm spin 15 2010
England Tom Richardson Right-arm fast 7 1896
India Ravichandran Ashwin Off-spin 9 2012
New Zealand Shane Bond Right-arm fast 12 2005
Pakistan Yasir Shah Leg-spin 9 2015
South Africa Vernon Philander Right-arm fast 7 2012
Sri Lanka Ajantha Mendis Off-spin 12 2010
West Indies Alf Valentine Left-arm spin 8 1951
Zimbabwe Heath Streak Right-arm fast 11 1996

– Vernon Philander reached 50 wickets from 7 tests in 2012. This made him the quickest in the last 100 years to reach the mark. Only Charlie Turner (6 Tests, in 1888) had been there quicker than Philander.
– For Bangladesh and West Indies the quickest to reach the milestone are left-arm bowler.

Records to aim for Yasir Shah

Yasir needs to take 46 wickets from his next 9 tests to become the quickest Pakistan bowler to reach 100 Test wickets, surpassing Saeed Ajmal (19 Tests).

The quickest spinner to take 100 Test wickets is Clarrie Grimmett (17 Tests). Yasir Shah needs 46 from 7 tests to break the record and 46 in 8 tests to equal it.

Footnote Trivia: Quickest to any 50-wicket haul

The fewest Tests to take 50 wickets at any stage of career is in 5 Tests by two bowlers on four occasions — Sydney Barnes and Muttiah Muralitharan (twice each, both overlapping).

Barnes: August 12, 1912 to January 5, 1914 — 53 wickets (13, 5, 10, 17, 8) from 5 Tests

Barnes: August 19, 1912 to February 18, 1914 – 54 wickets (5, 10, 17, 8, 14) in 5 Tests

Murali: May 25, 2006 to December 9, 2006 — 50 wickets (10,11, 10, 12, 7) in 5 Tests

Murali: June 2, 2006 to December 18, 2006 — 50 wickets (11, 10, 12, 7, 10) in 5 Tests

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)