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Centurions Youhana and Younis spell double trouble for India
by AFP


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

DateLine: 17th March 2005

 

Pakistan's century-makers Younis Khan and Yousuf Youhana vowed to keep India under pressure in the second Test here, saying their task was not finished yet.

 

"We would like to continue on Day Three because we feel the job is not even half-done," said vice-captain Younis, who scored an unbeaten 108 on the second day for his seventh Test century.

 

Younis was involved in a 203-run stand for the unbroken third wicket with Youhana, who was unbeaten on 101 for his 13th Test hundred.

 

The duo helped Pakistan post an impressive 273-2 at stumps on Thursday in reply to India's first innings total of 407.

 

"We need to go on like this and if we get a lead of 250-plus it will help us force a win," said Youhana.

 

Pakistan looked set to gain a handsome lead as they were just 134 runs behind with eight wickets in hand.

 

"When Youhana came to bat we decided we would support each other. I am happy that we did that for our team's cause," said Younis, who took over the vice-captaincy from Youhana for this tour.

 

"We aimed at quick running between wickets to unnerve the bowlers and fielders."

 

Younis said he was under no pressure despite failing in both innings in the drawn opening Test at Mohali last week.

 

"I was not under pressure because of my batting, the pressure was there because of my poor catching," Younis said, referring to the three catches he put down in Mohali.

 

"I owe a lot to my captain who had confidence in me despite the batting failures and I am happy to live up to his expectations."

 

Younis reached his hundred with a miscued pull over the slips off seamer Irfan Pathan for his 13th boundary after a 213-minute stay at the crease.

 

Youhana, who had made a half-century at Mohali, continued in the same vein and reached his hundred off the day's last ball, lofting off-spinner Harbhajan Singh over mid-wicket for his 13th four.

 

"I was in control right from the start. It was comfortable batting out there because the ball was coming on to the bat nicely," said Youhana.

 

The Pakistani duo agreed the Eden Gardens pitch had little to offer to the bowlers on the second day.

 

"This pitch is not a paradise for bowlers and if you bat with caution you can score big," said Younis.

 

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq agreed with his main batsmen that the job was not over yet.

 

"I have only half a smile on my face," said Inzamam. "I will smile broadly if we take a match-winning lead.

 

"It could be 250-plus because it won't be easy to bat on this pitch on the last two days."

 

Inzamam was all praise for Younis and Youhana.

 

"Younis showed a lot of character because he had failed at Mohali. But before this innings, I told him to relax and bat as he normally does," Inzamam said.

 

"Youhana is an elegant batsman and he batted like a champion."

 

The Pakistan captain hoped his side would capitalise on the pair's efforts.

 

"On many occasions we have spurned an opportunity to post big totals," he said.

 

"In Mebourne last year against Australia, we were bowled out for under-350 after being 250-3 at one stage.

 

"So it would be nice if Younis and Youhana bat for another two hours on the third day and we post a big total because we need to get India out a second time."

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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