Younis admits failure in handling pressure
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, HMRKB Herath
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 8th July 2009


Pakistan captain Younis Khan said that his inexperienced men failed to cope up with pressure but at the same time backed his players despite the stunning loss to Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle.


Chasing a meagre 168 to win, Pakistan were bowled out for just 117 after finishing the third day as favourites to win the Test. They needed 97 to win on the fourth day with eight wickets in hand but a stunning collapse saw them finish 50 runs short of the target.


The manner of the defeat has exposed the team to heavy criticism, but Younus defended his players.


"We have a young team and it is not right to give them stick right away," Younis said.


"It's all about pressure and because of the inexperience our team has not handled the pressure well.


"Before the series, I had said the team that handles the pressure best would do well."


Pakistan controlled the game for the first three days with comeback man Mohammad Yousuf's knock of 112 helping the visitors go past Sri Lanka's first innings score of 292.


The visitors were looking good for a substantial lead, but Sri Lanka's bowlers were able to restrict the lead to only 50 runs.


"Our lead was insufficient," Younis said.


"We had Yousuf and Kamran Akmal, two set batsmen at the crease and we ought to have got a lead of a 100-150.


"It was the turning point in the game and it allowed Sri Lanka to comeback.


"Having said that, I think Kumar Sangakkara's captaincy was fantastic.


"No other captain would have started with Rangana Herath at the start of the fourth day," he said.


Then Muralitharan's replacement, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath engineered Pakistan's downfall with two wickets at the start of the day. The bowler finished with four for 15 from 11.3 overs.


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