Younus leads from the front

Captain headlines Pakistan's revival with 16th Test century

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 24/02/09 1:01pm

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Younus celebrates his hundred

Younus celebrates his hundred

Sky Bet

First Test
Karachi
Sri Lanka 644-7 dec (D P M D Jayawardene 240, T T Samaraweera 231, K C Sangakkara 70, B S M Warnapura 59) v Pakistan 296-3 (Younus Khan 149 no, Shoaib Malik 56)

An unbeaten century from Younus Khan led a spirited Pakistan recovery on the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka.

Younus, captaining the side for the first time since succeeding Shoaib Malik, batted throughout the day to finish on 149 not out.

He shared a 149-run, third-wicket partnership with his predecessor as the hosts reached stumps at 296-3 in their first innings, still 348 behind.

After Sri Lanka's batsmen piled up 644-7 declared in hot conditions on the opening two days, Pakistan resumed on the third morning at 44-1 in reply - exactly 600 adrift.

With the pitch at Karachi's National Stadium starting to take slow turn, the stage appeared set for Sri Lanka spin duo Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan to weave their magic.

Defiance

Instead, it was the elegant batting of Younus that stole the show as he progressed steadily to his 16th Test century.

Pakistan lost debutant opener Khurram Manzoor for 27, caught behind playing back to Mendis' quicker ball in the 11th over of the day.

But Younus and Malik put together a superb stand to revive their side, staying together until shortly after tea.

Younus went to his hundred from 191 balls with a couple down to third-man from Dilhara Fernando's bowling - although he had survived a chance on 92 when a diving Tillakaratne Dilshan failed to cling on at midwicket off Mendis.

Malik finally fell for a painstaking 56 off 168 deliveries, failing to beat Muralitharan's direct hit from mid-off after calling for a quick single.

That reduced the home side to 227-3 but Younus' insatiable appetite for runs continued as he added a further 69 in the company of Misbah-ul-Haq (20no) to take Pakistan through to the close having lost just two wickets in the day.

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