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Younis hit 15 fours and three late sixes in his double hundred, and shared century partnerships with Misbah and Adnan Akmal (64) to lift Pakistan out of trouble -Photo by AFP
Younis hit 15 fours and three late sixes in his double hundred, and shared century partnerships with Misbah and Adnan Akmal (64) to lift Pakistan out of trouble -Photo by AFP

HARARE: Younis Khan hit a double century as Pakistan wrested control on the fourth day of the first Test against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Younis hit 200 not out to enable Pakistan to declare on 419 for nine, setting Zimbabwe an unlikely 342 to win.

Zimbabwe were 13 for one at the close, losing opening batsman Tina Mawoyo in the last over of the day, leg before wicket to Saeed Ajmal.

Off-spinner Ajmal, who took seven for 95 in the first innings, will be the main threat to the Zimbabwe batsmen on the last day on a deteriorating pitch.

It was a monumental performance by Younis, who batted for 10 hours 12 minutes and faced 404 balls, knowing for much of his innings that his side would be in danger of defeat if he was dismissed.

Pakistan were in deep trouble at 23 for three early in his innings. He shared a century partnership with captain Misbah-ul-Haq on Thursday but the tourists were still vulnerable when Asad Shafiq was bowled in the first over on Friday, with Pakistan only 91 ahead with five wickets remaining.

Another century stand, with wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, who made a career-best 64, steered Pakistan towards safety. An unbroken last wicket partnership of 88 with Rahat Ali (35 not out) took the game away from a tiring Zimbabwe team.

Patience was the hallmark of Younis' innings until he cut loose in the last wicket stand, adding his last 51 runs in quick time.

Misbah delayed the declaration, first signalling two more overs as Younis neared a double century, then indicating a further over when Younis was on 194 when the allotted two were complete. Younis hit off- spinner Prosper Utseya to reach the landmark and the declaration was immediate.

It meant Pakistan had only eight overs to bowl at Zimbabwe before the close of play. Mawoyo and Vusi Sibanda negotiated the first seven before Mawoyo went back in his crease and missed an Ajmal 'doosra' to be trapped in front of his stumps Run-scoring ground almost to a halt at times before the late flurry.

Zimbabwe, lacking out-and-out strike bowlers, were forced to bowl for containment and the batsmen refused to take risks. In the first hour after lunch, only 18 runs were scored in 15 overs. Just when the tempo started to pick up again Akmal was run out after a mix-up with Younis.

Younis survived a chance when he had 83, edging medium-pacer Hamilton Maskadza low to slip, where Tina Mawoyo was slow to react. He was kept quiet through the nineties but bided his time until he was able to work an over-pitched ball from Tendai Chatara off his toes to the square leg boundary for his 11th four. His 22nd Test century was scored off 221 balls.

On 117, Younis slashed Hamilton Masakadza hard to gully where Malcolm Waller was unable to hold a hard chance.

Comments (8) Closed

Shaheen Sep 06, 2013 08:49pm

I have been missing Yunis. Now that he is back we won't look back. Similarly bring back Mohammed Yousuf, believe me we will be the world beaters. We already have good bowling. The next world cup will be ours inshallah.

Sarah Sep 06, 2013 08:56pm

Batting Living legend Younis khan has made sure that there is only one winner in the first test.Well done man in Green and well supported by Adnan Akmal,Rahat Ali and ever consistent Misbah(no need to write about him since we know he is always going to score in all formats).

cricketlover Sep 06, 2013 11:16pm

What a superlative performance by Younis Khan & Co. under trying circumstances. Zimbabwe let an opportunity slip out of their hands, but they will salvage a lot of pride out of this Test. The way Pakistan batted today, it should be a MODEL LESSON for the rest of the batting line-up. As for the middle-order, Faisal Iqbal should be given a stint in the next Test since there are limited options available to try out before the SA series in the U.A.E. in the near future.

faisal Sep 06, 2013 11:26pm

younis bhai please play 2015 world cup for Pakistan.also Imran nazir,abdull razaaq,shoaib malik and umer gul. we will prepare now oyrselves for the upcoming tournamnets like southafrican tour n make a winning combination for the world cup to uplift the trophy in 2015.

mehboob malik Sep 07, 2013 10:26am

Well played younis khan and the all other players too who tried hard.

ABL Sep 07, 2013 11:51am

Younis saved Pakistan team from real embarrassment. His heroic effort will be registered and remembered as one of the great and valuable innings played by any Pakistan Test batsmen.

Sher khan Sep 07, 2013 02:25pm

The critics of Younus being part of the test squad should learn to praise this phenomenal effort under pressure from one of the most gentle and reliable man in Pakistani cricket. He is perhaps one of the few players who choose to abdicate captaincy than to sell the country's honour. Let's have a large heart. Salute to all the gentlemen of cricket

Sarah Sep 08, 2013 02:31am

Younis Khan is living legend of Pakistan Cricket.Have seen so many heroic innings under his belt now.