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Younis and Youhana make merry with unbeaten tons
by AFP


Ground:Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 17th March 2005

 

Under-pressure Younis Khan and Yousuf Youhana cracked unbeaten centuries as Pakistan gave a fitting reply to India in the second Test at the Eden Gardens here.

 

Younis slammed 108 not out for his seventh Test hundred and Yousuf Youhana an unbeaten 101 for his 13th ton to help Pakistan post 273-2 by stumps on the second day in reply to India's first innings total of 407.

 

The pair drove the Indian bowlers to the verge of despair with their responsible knocks, denying the hosts success for more than three hours with a 203-run stand for the unbroken third wicket.

 

Youhana and Younis also kept pressure on the Indian fielders with their smart running between wickets as they lost no opportunity to gather singles and twos.

 

Vice-captain Younis, unsure of his place after making nine and one in the drawn opening Test at Mohali last week, returned to form on Thursday just when his team needed runs to put India on the back foot.

 

He completed his hundred in the closing hour with a miscued shot, top-edging a pull off seamer Irfan Pathan over the slips for his 13th four.

 

Youhana, who scored a half-century at Mohali, continued in the same vein, striking the ball fluently during his 171-ball knock.

 

Youhana completed his hundred off the last ball of the day when he lofted off-spinner Harbhajan Singh over mid-wicket for his 13th four.

 

It was a demoralising day for the Indian bowlers on a track which favoured neither pace nor spin. The hosts also harmed their cause by often erring in line and length.

 

Fast bowler Laxmipathy Balaji alone acquitted himself with steady bowling, but Pathan and spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan rarely looked effective.

 

The Indian fielding also left a lot to be desired as opener Taufeeq Umar was dropped twice. The Pakistani batsman failed to cash in on those chances, caught head-high at mid-wicket by Harbhajan off Balaji.

 

Umar had not even opened his account when Rahul Dravid grassed a regulation catch at first slip off Balaji and then moved to one when dropped by Virender Sehwag at third slip off the same bowler.

 

India's other success came when Shahid Afridi was caught by Sachin Tendulkar at mid-on off a mistimed pull after smashing Pathan for three fours in the same over.

 

Afridi hit a 21-ball 29 with seven fours.

 

Younis and Youhana frustrated India as they applied themselves remarkably well, executing handsome strokes on both sides of the wicket to sustain their team's chances of gaining the lead.

 

India earlier added 63 to their overnight total of 344-6, with Harbhajan (27) and Anil Kumble (21 not out) putting on 44 for the last wicket.

 

Leg-spinners Danish Kaneria and Afridi, and medium-pacer Abdul Razzaq finished with three wickets apiece.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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