Wed, Feb 25, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Younus Khan grinds out triple century in Karachi

AGENCIES , KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Pakistan captain Younus Khan plays a shot during the fourth day of the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi, Pakistan, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan captain Younus Khan reached his triple century on the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the national stadium in Karachi yesterday.

Younus struck a trademark reverse sweep shot against Muttiah Muralitharan after tea to reach the milestone.

He bowed his head after reaching the landmark while the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Younus reached his 300 after batting for 681 minutes, facing 510 balls and hitting 27 fours and four sixes.

Only former captains Hanif Mohammad (337) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (329) have scored triple hundreds for Pakistan.

It is the 23rd triple hundred in Test cricket and the first time a batsman has scored 300 against Sri Lanka in a Test.

At stumps the Pakistan skipper had scored an unbeaten 306 out of the hosts 574 for five. The other not out batsman was Kamran Akmal on 27.

MAMMOTH TOTAL

With only one day left, the match looks certain to finish in a draw, with Pakistan having saved the follow-on after Sri Lanka’s mammoth first innings total of 644 for seven.

Younus featured in two century stands after Pakistan resumed their first innings at the overnight total of 296-3 still needing 149 runs to avoid the follow on.

He put on 174 runs with Faisal Iqbal (57) after adding 130 for the fourth wicket with Misbah-ul-Haq (42).

Younus frustrated the Sri Lanka bowlers on a flat wicket which has come under severe criticism with bowlers struggling to get any assistance.

RISING STAR

Muralitharan (1-165), Test cricket’s most prolific wicket-taker, and rising star Ajantha Mendis (1-135) have succeeded in taking just one wicket each, with only 12 wickets falling in the game so far.

Khan, 149 overnight, raised his double century in the afternoon session when he drove a delivery from fast bowler Dilhara Fernando through the covers for three runs.

He also became the sixth Pakistani batsmen to complete 5,000 Test runs, joining Javed Miandad, Inzamam, Khalid Ibadulla, Mohammad Yousuf, Salim Malik and Zaheer Abbas.

Sri Lanka only managed to take two wickets yesterday. Fernando (1-107) trapped Misbah-ul-Haq lbw shortly before lunch while Mahela Jaywardene made the only other breakthrough when he trapped Iqbal lbw in the final session.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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