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Younis Khan’s performance provides Pakistan with Commanding position over India

Younis Khan's performance provides Pakistan with Commanding position over India

At the end of first day of first test match being played between India and Pakistan, Pakistan were 326 for loss of 2 wickets. On the crease were two world class, in-form, settled batsman of Pakistan — Muhammad Yousaf playing at sublime 95 and Younis Khan at chanceless elegant knock of 147.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq decided to bat first after winning the toss. It was no doubt good luck of Pakistan that they won the toss on such a batting paradise wicket. Captain’s decision proved to be in the favour of Pakistan at the end of the day. In the third over India had got the first break through in form of Salman’s runout on a firing throw of Yuvraj. He went much out of his crease to get a single But Shoaib Malik, playing on the striker end, stopped him. But he responded a bit lazily but on the other hand Yuvraj was quicker and succeeded in directly hitting the stumps. At the stage Pakistan’s total was 12.

India needed an other or more than one wickets at that stage to have its grip on the match. But Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan played very carefully thereafter. Shoaib Malik was looking a bit more conscious in making shot selection but punished some loose deliveries by Herbhajan. He timed the ball into gaps to rotate the strike continuously. He made his 6th fifty in test carrier and first against India, keep in mind that it was his first test match against Indian side. He has scored first fifty almost after 6 months. In test series against England he could score only some thirties and twenties. Today after scoring 59 runs, he lost his wickets in the similar style as he has been doing in Series against England last year. Harbhajan took a very simple catch on a uppish drive played by Shoaib in Irfan Pathan’s over.

It seemed Younis Khan has regained the form against India. He had played two match winning innings of 267 & 84 in Banglore test last year and Pakistan had squared the series. He has an average of 100+ against India in test cricket. When he came out for batting, it was a crucial stage for both the teams and Pakistan had to survive for the first hour of the match. Indians were exerting a lot of pressure over Pakistanis but surely Indians lacked in the Bowling department. Starting with a sensible innings he paced up his innings with the passage of time. He played a lot perfect straight drives to Irafan Pathan, distubed the rhythm of Anil Kumble with punishing cut shots and late cuts and fine sweeps to Harbhajan. After tea he paced his innings with Muhammad Yousaf and was playing unbeaten on 147 at end of the day.

When Shoaib Malik got out, Pakistan’s total was 136 and they very low run rate. Muhammad Yousaf was the next batsman and he looked in a bit urgency. Usually takes some time to settle but today he was marvelous. He continued his form in Gaddafi Stadium. In the last match he played at Gaddafi stadium last year against England, he had scored 223 runs. He played some pull shots and hit a six with perfection. He really punished Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan. Though he has been struggling against Anil Kumble in his carrier but now he tackled him with confidence. He is just 5 runs away from his another test century.

It was no doubt a very tough day for Dravid. Whole Indian side was under pressure throughout the game. No doubt the pitch is a batting paradise and there was nothing for spinners in the pitch today but Indians must be missing a seamer in their side. Dravid was playing with four regular bowlers — Irafan Pathan, Agit Agarkar, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan. Irfan Pathan was the only bowler who could get a wicket. Dravid had given chance to Ganguly as well but he had nothing new to do on such a track. He just went for stopping flow of runs. Dravid kept on changing the position of fielders to decrease the scoring rate and boundaries but to no avail.

Now at the end of the day Pakistan have a very good position in the match. Still Inzamam-Ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal have to come for batting. Rana Naveed can also bat with confidence and Shoaib Akther and Sami have also proved that they can stay and can even score quick runs for their team. So India needs a lot of hardwork and also favor of luck to came back in the game.

Fall Of Wickets:

  1. Salman Butt run-out (Yuvraj) 6 (12 for 1)
  2. Shoaib Malik c Harbhajan b Pathan 59 (136 for 2)