Younis scores his test career’s 24th century

Source:  Pakistan Herald Published in Sports on Thursday, August 7, 2014

Younis Khan takes the driver seat as he ensures a decent call-off score for Pakistan’s first day play against Srilanka in the First Test Match at Galle, Srilanka. Pakistan’s first day total of 261-4 owes its great deal to the swooping and eventful century of Younas Khan who lifted Pakistan’s total to a respectable 261-4 on the first day of the first test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Younas Khan, Pakistan’s top order batsmen made a dramatic comeback as he got his spot back on the team and played fervently while the rest of the top order line-up of Pakistan showed signs of slackness and rustiness. The team’s slackness might very well be attributed to the fact that the team is playing a test match after a long layoff of over six months since last playing a test match in January, against the same team, when it defeated Sri Lanka at Sharjah to level that series.

Younas Khan made a splendid 133 off 228 balls with 11 fours and a six. It looked like as if Khan’s form was not the only thing on his side as luck was graciously on his side too, as he successfully used the Decision Review System twice to overturn umpire's decisions. Khan also got a lucky escape on 68 when Mahela Jayawardene, who was playing for the last time at Galle, dropped a sitter and enabled Khan to go for his destined century. Younas Khan completed his 24th century and leveled with Mohammad Yousuf's record of 24 test centuries, while breaking the record of Javed Miandad’s 23 test centuries.

Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad's (2-54) twin strikes shook Pakistan at very early in the match and got the team in trouble at 56-3. It was then that Younas Khan took the crease to make history. At the end of first day’s play of first test match against Srilanka, the Pakistani team was able to make a total of decent 261-4, with Younas Khan’s smashing 133 not out and with him is Asad Shafiq, who was not out on 55 at stumps. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq made a shying 31 and got himself caught behind the wicket. It was then that our knight in shining armour, Younas Khan took the reins and saved the day.

Today’s match was eventful for Srilanka as well, for their own reasons as, Sri Lanka's most accomplished batsman Mahela Jayawardene led the team onto the field of Galle International Stadium with children giving him a guard of honor with raised bats and his team-mates clapping from the sidelines. This test match will be Jayawardene’s last test at his favorite Galle International Stadium and second last of his career as he has announced his retirement and will retire after the second test against Pakistan at his home ground in Colombo. The Galle stadium, in honour of the star batsman was decorated with giant hoardings and billboards of Jayawardene, who has scored over 10,000 runs in both test matches and one-day internationals.

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Written by Maliha Naveed

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