Captain Younus Khan led Pakistan’s fightback with his 16th Test hundred to thwart Sri Lanka on the third day of the opening Test in Karachi yesterday.
Younus was unbeaten on 149 as the home team, replying to Sri Lanka’s mammoth first innings total of 644-7, were 296-3 at stumps.
Misbah-ul-Haq was the other not out batsman with 20.
Pakistan need another 149 runs to avoid follow-on.
While the first two days belonged to Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, who smashed a double hundred and was associated in a world record stand of 437, Younus was the hero on the third day.
Younus, leading Pakistan for the first time after he replaced Shoaib Malik following Pakistan’s 2-1 one-day defeat against Sri Lanka last month truly played a captain’s knock.
He played the twin-pace and twin-spin Sri Lankan bowling attack with consummate ease, and only looked in bother twice when he survived a confident leg-before shout by Ajantha Mendis when on 23.
Then on 92, Tillakaratne Dilshan failed to hold onto a diving catch off a miscued drive, with the bowler again being Mendis.
Younus pushed Sri Lankan paceman Dilhara towards third man for two to complete his century after four hours and five minutes of defiant batting — his fourth against Sri Lanka.
He hit 17 boundaries during his six hour, 11 minute stay at the crease.