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Century makes the occasion memorable, says Inzamam
by AFP


Ground:M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 25th March 2005

 

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who marked his 100th Test with a superb century against India, said he had been determined to lead from the front.

 

"The responsibility to show the way brought the best out of me. It was a special occasion which became super-special with a hundred," said Inzamam, who scored an unbeaten 184 on the opening day of the third and final Test.

 

Pakistan are seeking a series-levelling win after losing the second Test in Calcutta. The first Test in Mohali was drawn.

 

Inzamam's 21st Test century on Thursday rallied the visitors, who had lost openers Shahid Afridi (nought) and Yasir Hameed (six) in the opening three overs with just seven runs on the board.

 

The Pakistan captain bolstered the innings with an unfinished 316-run stand for the third wicket with Younis Khan (127 not out) to help his team reach a healthy 323-2 at stumps.

 

"It was a setback to lose two quick wickets after winning the toss on a good batting pitch," said Inzamam. "When I walked in I was under pressure, but I knew runs would come once I saw off the new ball."

 

The 35-year-old Inzamam became only the fifth batsman to score a hundred on his 100th Test appearance.

 

Others are Englishmen Colin Cowdrey (v Australia in 1968) and Alec Stewart (v the West Indies in 2000), Pakistan's Javed Miandad (v India in 1989) and West Indian Gordon Greenidge (v England in 1989).

 

"It is a great honour for me to be in that exalted company," said Inzamam, who was presented with a crystal trophy before the start of the match by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan.

 

"It's really flattering when people say I have become more responsible. I am on Cloud Nine when people say I am at the peak of my batting," said the middle-order batsman who hit 25 effortless boundaries during his 263-ball knock.

 

Inzamam had an auspicious start, getting a pat on his back from his father Intizam-ul-Haq who flew in from Pakistan to celebrate his son's landmark.

 

"I dedicate this hundred to my father who came here for my 100th Test and also to the people of my nation," said Inzamam.

 

"My father has always been a source of inspiration for me since my childhood and he patted me on the back when I was coming to the stadium."

 

Inzamam said it was an easy wicket to bat on.

 

"There is not much in it for the bowlers. So we aim to get 500-plus here and hope the pitch takes turn on the last two days," he said.

 

"Younis played better than me. It is a big achievement by him to score hundreds in successive Tests. I am happy the senior batsmen are showing the way.

 

"It is a crucial Test for us. As a captain I had to lead from the front and I am happy that the first day belonged to us. We have four more days to go to force a win," said Inzamam.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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