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Yasir Shah has evoked memories of Shane Warne's 'ball of the century' with a stunning delivery in the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Yasir sent Kusal Mendis packing for 76 when he ripped a ball from outside leg-stump that clipped the top of off.
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Mendis was well set and looked to be heading towards a century, but was left shell-shocked by the peach of a ball from Yasir.
The dismissal had echoes of the late great Warne's magical delivery to remove England's Mike Gatting during the first Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1993.
Warne's delivery was his first on English soil and is widely regarded as the ball of the 20th century.
"While it will be difficult to surpass Warne's stunning ball, Yasir certainly went close as he produced a delivery that is sure to be talked about over the coming years," the International Cricket Council wrote.
Sri Lanka Cricket wrote on their Twitter page said: "Ball of the Century candidate? Yasir Shah stunned Kusal Mendis with a stunning delivery which reminded the viewers of Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century'."
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) July 18, 2022
Warne, who died of a suspected heart attack in March at age 52, finished his stellar Test career in 2007 with 708 wickets.
Fans were also left in a frenzy over the incredible ball from Yasir.
Ball of the century by Yasir Shah today. pic.twitter.com/Sp4RUgJDew
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) July 18, 2022
What a ball from Yasir Shah, it was a peach.pic.twitter.com/dfYjEqnrEd
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) July 19, 2022
Beauty from Yasir Shah like Shane Warne's Ball to Gatting ... pic.twitter.com/EKNgpZqZl6
— Taimoor Zaman (@taimoorze) July 18, 2022
— 🏏Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) July 18, 2022
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) July 18, 2022
I have decided cricket needs its own version of the Puskas Award. Ball of the year. Would be great to see the contenders from all kinds of cricket all over the world. This from Yasir Shah would definitely be a contender https://t.co/y2fWvbEqbv
— TheCricketMen (@thecricketmen) July 18, 2022
— Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) July 18, 2022
Abdullah Shafique drives Pakistan's record run chase
Meanwhile, opener Abdullah Shafique hit a gritty century on Tuesday to keep Pakistan in the hunt to chase down a victory target of 342 in Galle.
Pakistan ended day four at 3-222, still needing 120 runs to take the lead in the two-match series.
The highest successful fourth-innings chase in Galle is 268 by Sri Lanka against New Zealand in 2019.
Sri Lanka need seven wickets to get their second-straight win at a venue where they beat Australia last week to end that two-match series level at 1-1.
Shafique, unbeaten on 112, and skipper Babar Azam, who made 55, put together 101 runs for the third wicket before spinner Prabath Jayasuriya broke through just a few overs before the close of play.
"He is one of the best players, so he provided good support while batting and guided me all along on how to play," Shafique said of captain Azam.
"So was a not a good thing when he got out but now the responsibility lies on me."
Left-arm spinner Jayasuriya bowled Azam around the his legs with a delivery that spun sharply from outside leg to rattle the stumps of the right-hander, who looked visibly shocked.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was batting on seven at stumps alongside Shafique, who had so far faced 289 balls and hit five boundaries and one six.
Pakistan began strongly with an 87-run partnership between Shafique and fellow opener Imam-ul-Haq, who made 35, but an alert stumping from wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella broke the stand.
The left-handed Imam missed a delivery from off-spinner Ramesh Mendis and Dickwella clipped off the bails.
"All of a sudden the wicket went flat... still we kept them under three runs (per over) and we did a marvellous job on that track," Sri Lanka's spin coach Piyal Wijetunga told reporters.
"We are still in the game. If we grab two wickets in the morning session we have a great chance of winning this game."
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