A glance at the scorecard will tell you Umesh Yadav's first spell on day three of the Hyderabad Test fetched the wicket of Monimul Haque. What it won't tell you is the pressure he maintained during the course of a nine-over spell which Shakib Al Hasan, who made 82, termed "the best spell" he has faced in his career.
Shakib said Umesh's late movement both ways on an unresponsive deck made it hard to lay bat on ball. Although he scored 30 off the 34 balls he faced from Umesh - five boundaries included - just how he made Shakib grope and feel for the ball that he yo-yoed away at pace and got it to reverse, added to the intrigue. He also mixed up his deliveries with cutters. There were bouncers too, mostly accurate.
"Obviously he was bowling really well," Shakib said. "It was probably the best spell I have faced in my career. The way he was moving the ball both ways, it was tremendous. All credit goes to him. I was thinking I need to be positive at that time. If there is a ball to hit, I will obviously hit it and the rest I will play with soft hands, and make sure that I don't nick it."
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