Triple centurion Younis Khan shores up Pakistan
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Player:Younis Khan
Event:Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2008/09

DateLine: 24th February 2009


Younis Khan became only the twenty third batsman in Test cricket to score a triple hundred as the Test inched towards draw. Pakistan played risk-free cricket to first avoid follow on and then pushing themselves into a safe corner. The placid wicket posed no dangers to the batsmen as Younis Khan scripted an extraordinary chapter in his cricketing career. Younis Khan played a patient, watchful innings to lead Pakistan past the follow-on mark and then towards safety on the fourth day at Karachi.


Though it was a dead track, Sri Lanka persevered gamely; Mendis and Chaminda Vaas operated for the much of the first session, Dilhara Fernando and Murali operated in tandem during the second. Murali failed to get any pace off the track and it was left to Fernando to try pose a few problems to the batsmen. He bowled his best spell of the match, getting the ball to reverse with accuracy. He had a very close shout for lbw against Faisal Iqbal with a ball that curved in but the umpire wasn't convinced. He then rapped Younis with a similar delivery but it was missing leg stump. Fernando removed Misbah-ul-Haq with a sharp in-cutter.


Jayawardene used Vaas and Mendis in an 18-over spell and both bowlers kept it tight, giving away only 37 runs. With the wicketkeeper standing up to the stumps and a lone wide slip in place, Vaas kept varying his pace and bowled quite a few offcutters. The batsmen remained cautious but Vaas succeeded in creating a couple of chances with his perseverance. On one occasion, Younis edged an attempted cover drive but it flew between the keeper and slip. Mendis toiled hard, mixing his deliveries well, using the offbreak as the stock ball and varying the pace. The batsmen generally played him with caution but he did strike a few big hits. Younis reprised yesterday's shot - a smooth clean swing to the straight boundary - and Misbah hit the first six of the game when he cleared long-on. On this pitch, only one result looks likely now.


Faisal Iqbal also batted gamely though not as fluently as his skipper to add 147 for the fifth wicket and then fell to Mahela Jayawardene's gentle off cutter as he was trapped leg before. Kamran Akmal joined Younis Khan and first helped him to cross the triple century mark and then saw to the stumps as Pakistan closed on 574 for the loss of five wickets with a day remaining in the Test.



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