Younus brings Pakistan closer to whitewash


Pakistan clawed back to a position of authority against England after Younus Khan smashed a stylish century on day two of the third and final Test here at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. Younus’ return to form earned Pakistan 180 runs lead and with support from Azhar Ali at the other end. They overcame the early loss of their opening batsmen to reach 222 for two wickets and also kept Pakistan afloat.
Pakistan’s third wicket pair of Younus and Azhar played skillfully through the second and third sessions to put the conditions into full use making 194 runs. They were in control of the proceeding with 115 and 75 runs respectively.
As the wicket got flat, the frustration started to grow in the England camp and hopes revived for Pakistan of getting their first ever whitewash in a Test series against England. Even 79th over review off Swann and the new ball after 80 overs did not yield any results for England.
Younus, who is the first Pakistani to have scored a century in the series, became the fourth Pakistani player to have reached 20 Test hundreds. He steered the ball to short midwicket to get to his century that came off 166 balls, timed with 11 fours and a six. At that point, Pakistan were placed with 152 runs lead.
For his great innings, not only the fans but also the cricket greats like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, who were there to watch the match, gave him a standing ovation.
Pakistan, who lead 2-0 in the three-test series, are hoping for a clean sweep by putting up a formidable total in their second innings to punish the tourists.
Earlier, as the day resumed at 104 for six, England wickets kept tumbling in the morning session. But Younus and Azhar kept on playing the entire day.
Pakistan bowlers were remarkable in the first hour of the day and allowed England just 50 minutes at the crease and the visitors could swell the lead only from five runs to 42 with a total of 141 runs.
Strauss, however, completed his 26th Test half century and as he reached 56 he was stumped by Adnan Akmal off Abdur Rehman, his fifth of the innings. But before that he trapped Anderson LBW in a review after umpire declared him not out.
England hoped to had a healthy lead when Strauss’ side resumed from an overnight score but they lost Anderson in the first over of the day and afterwards Ajmal trapped Stuart Broad lbw and later Strauss departed after a half-century.


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