"Jeet toh jaaienge magar tum log marwaaoge mujhe (We'll win it, but you guys will kill me)."
So said, according to Yasir Shah, Misbah-ul-Haq after tea on the final day of the third Test between West Indies and Pakistan in Dominica earlier this year. Misbah couldn't have known then how close his team would cut it, granting him the first half of his prediction, but in the process nearly ensuring the second.
Imagine Misbah's tension through that final session. West Indies were stubbornly refusing to give in to the dream ending he and his team had craved, a first series win in the Caribbean in Misbah and Younis Khan's last Test. The hosts were 146 for 6 at tea, the 304-run target not a real one but the draw definitely on.
Eventually, as we all know now, Pakistan scraped through, winning the Test with six balls to spare - in context, one of the most dramatic finishes in Pakistan's history.
And we're familiar now with the defining images of that denouement. Yasir switching to over the wicket, to Shannon Gabriel, until then a heroic and unexpected resister; bowling outside off; Gabriel attempting an ungainly hoick across the line for no reason comprehensible to mankind, only to inside-edge on to his stumps; Yasir off on his football-dive celebration, the team in pursuit, Misbah on one knee with the fist pump.
And, of course, before that ball, Younis gesturing to Yasir at first slip, the exiting legend with one final, decisive input, proof even when it wasn't needed, of his leaderly value.
What exactly did he say to Yasir?
"He told me to bowl the slider to him," Yasir said. "I said to Younis bhai that I want to bowl the googly because it's the last ball [of the over] he'll be ready for the slider. "When I got to my mark, Younis said in Urdu to bowl it a little outside off stump. When I got there, I paused and thought about it and felt my googly isn't great so I'll go with a slider instead. So I bowled it and he took a shot…"
Pakistan did have another over left, so it wasn't, technically, the last chance. But given how embedded the centurion Roston Chase was at the other end - he was unbeaten on 101 from 239 balls - and that he would not face the main threat of Yasir, it was then or never.
Had it not been for his insistence, or Misbah's faith in him, Yasir may not have been bowling that over at all. He had already bowled five overs with the second new ball. Misbah, Sarfraz Ahmed and some others held pre-over discussions. Somebody suggested getting a fast bowler on: a yorker, a bouncer, anything.
"But I told Misbah I want to do it, I will get you this wicket," Yasir said. "I asked for it. Misbah said, 'Okay, come, no masla [no problem]. Do it.' It was a new ball and a tailender was standing. Misbah said, 'I have trust in you, you've always got me wickets.'"
For the first five balls, Yasir, 24 wickets already in the series, attacked leg stump. The first was too full, the second, which spun big but slow, too short. Third ball he went round and brought all his fielders in. It was too full, too legside and Gabriel safely padded it away.
"It was breaking from leg stump. If I turned it from there, I could get a bowled, even slip was a chance."
Fourth ball, drama. Gabriel went pad first, bat hidden behind and, in a blur, the ball popped up to silly point. Gone, said the umpire, off went the players in celebration. But Gabriel reviewed and, after an unbearable, interminable delay, was reprieved. Fate was doing Pakistan in. In the first over of the new ball, Chase had been dismissed off a no-ball. A few overs later Gabriel was given not out when replays hinted an edge that couldn't be confirmed in the absence of HotSpot and Snicko. And now this.
"It just wasn't happening," Yasir said. "It wasn't pressure, but I think we were just focusing on every single ball so intently, so much, to get them out to make this a happy ending."
Gabriel played the fifth ball, from leg stump again, with the confidence and relief of a man who has been told he's off death row.
"All I could think of was that this was the over for it, this was the over to get the wicket," said the man behind the stumps, Sarfraz Ahmed. "This was our chance. But as each ball was bowled I was like this is slipping out of our hands, we've lost this."
And then Younis' intervention. Sarfraz doesn't remember seeing or hearing him at the time, so focused and despondent was he. He saw it later on screen. "I think that is what Younis was saying to throw it outside, so that when it pitches outside, it will skid and come back in a little. The flipper, a new ball, if you pitch it outside, it didn't go as far maybe as we wanted, but from where it landed it came in a little."
As enduring an image, or rather sound, is of the great Fazeer Mohammad, just the man for the occasion, from behind our TV screens. "Got 'em! Why did he do that? Unbelievable…"
Why, indeed, Gabriel? There resides the real mystery. "He must have earned a lot of blessings from a lot of people that day because he won us the series," said Sarfraz, as clueless as the rest of us, but unconcerned.