Ton-up Younis pounds India in first Test
by AFP

Ground:Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Scorecard:Pakistan v India
Player:Younis Khan
Event:India in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 13th January 2006


Younis Khan cracked a fluent 147 not out as Pakistan posted a formidable 326-2 on the opening day of the first cricket Test against India here on Friday.


The Pakistani vice-captain led the hosts' belligerence with his 10th Test century as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain runs on the slow wicket at the Gaddafi stadium.


It was Younis' third landmark knock in as many Tests against the Indians, having made 147 in Kolkata and a match-winning 267 in Bangalore in March last year.


Younis put on 124 for the second wicket with opener Shoaib Malik (59) and a scintillating 190 in 163 minutes for the third with Mohammad Yousuf, who was unbeaten on 95.


Younis's return to form after failing to get a half-century in the previous home series against England was marked with glorious strokes on both sides of the wicket.


He reached his hundred soon after tea with a superb straight drive off Irfan Pathan for his 12th boundary and ended the day by adding seven more fours.


Yousuf also looked in supreme touch with 10 fours and a six over mid-wicket against Anil Kumble.


The brownish wicket dispelled the pre-series hype that the hosts, eager to avenge the 2-0 defeat at India's hands two years ago, would prepare fast tracks to suit their pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar.


India, who included former captain Sourav Ganguly in the playing eleven, managed just two wickets during the day before play was called off five overs early due to fading light.


Kumble was the most expensive Indian bowler conceding 92 runs from 23 wicketless overs, but none of the others were spared by the rampaging Pakistanis.


Irfan Pathan took 1-76 and new ball partner Ajit Agarkar went for 0-59 and spinner Harbhajan finished with 0-64.


India's lone sucess in the extended 150-minute morning session came in the third over of the day when Yuvraj Singh ran out Salman Butt with a direct hit at the non-striker's end.


Butt ran down the wicket from the bowler's end when Malik played a shot to mid-wicket and failed to return to the crease after being refused a single.


Malik, who was promoted to open the innings against England, showed he had settled into the role by making 59, his fourth Test half-century.


Malik hit seven boundaries and a six before he drove Irfan Pathan to Harbhajan Singh at covers midway through the post-lunch session.


Earlier, the tourists ended the suspense over their team composition by playing Ganguly in place of two regular openers, Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffar.


The Indians also fielded both spinners, Kumble and Harbhajan, to back seamers Pathan and Ajit Agarkar.


Pakistan went in with a three-pronged pace attack of Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved and one specialist spinner in Danish Kaneria.


The third series between the neighbours in two years includes two more Tests in Faisalabad from January 21-25 and Karachi from January 29-February 2.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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