1st Test: Yousuf's ton saves day for Pak | india | Hindustan Times
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1st Test: Yousuf's ton saves day for Pak

india Updated: Jul 17, 2006 10:42 IST
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Mohammad Yousuf's 17th test century on Saturday gave Pakistan some hope of drawing the first Test after the third day.

Pakistan ended the day on on 409-7, still trailing England's 528-9 (declared) by 119 runs. The relief, however, was that Yousuf's 185 not out had helped them avoid the follow-on.

Yousuf faced 287 balls in 387 minutes, hitting one six and 24 fours.

Shahid Afridi was yet to score at the close of play.

He had scored a massive 223 in the match against England in December, which helped Pakistan win the third and final Test at Lahore and take the series 2-0.

"Everything is because I converted and after that my performances have been better," Yousuf said. "I have not changed the way of my game, just the way of my life.

"When you pray five times a day, you are very disciplined and you are most honest. I try to make myself a good human being."

Pakistan, which hasn't lost a series in England in five tours since 1982, had resumed on 66-3 and added 99 runs before lunch for the loss of nightwatchman Mohammad Sami (0) on the 11th ball of the day.

Sami edged a leg-cutter from Matthew Hoggard to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones when just two runs had been added to the overnight score.

He had nicked the previous ball to Andrew Strauss, but it bounced just in front of the stand-in captain at second slip.

Inzamam and Yousuf took Pakistan to lunch at 165-4. The pair moved to 241 before the Pakistan captain lost concentration one ball after a drinks break and was bowled behind his legs by Liam Plunkett for 69.

Inzamam had hit 10 fours and offered only one half-chance on 17 by slashing a ball from Plunkett through the outstretched hand of a leaping Marcus Trescothick at first slip before lunch.

Only Plunkett had looked like dismissing Yousuf in the second session, twice beating his outside edge and enticing him on 82 to scoop a ball that just didn't carry as Paul Collingwood dived forward at short midwicket.

"Yousuf showed how good he was in Pakistan. He looks the business," Plunkett said. "Unfortunately, they got away, but hopefully we can come in in the morning and knock them over.

"They have some very experienced players. We need to get stuck in tomorrow and get Yousuf out. We need to think about what we can do, and the best way to get them out."

Monty Panesar, who started to extract the turn that Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria used to take three wickets for eight runs in Friday's second session, was hit by Yousuf for six over long-on and for four at mid-on by Razzaq in an over costing 13 runs.

Pakistan scored 126 runs in the second session. In the fourth over with the new ball after tea, Razzaq, on 22, nicked a legcutter from Steve Harmison to Jones with Pakistan at 300-6, still requiring 29 runs to make England bat next.

Harmison bowled aggressively and pinned Akmal to his crease, taking 1-13 off six overs with the new ball, but the pair safely reached the follow-on mark of 329.

However, Akmal was dropped on 26 by Kevin Pietersen at cover from the bowling of Plunkett with Pakistan on 337.

Two overs later, Yousuf reached his 150 with a four off Panesar. Pietersen made amends for dropping Akmal by having him caught behind for 58 - his first ever test wicket in just his third ever over - with his off spinners in the third last over of the day.

Harmison took 3-76, while Plunkett had 2-50, Pietersen 1-11 and Hoggard 1-100.

"It wasn't easy. the pitch was quite flat and they played pretty well," said Plunkett. "They know their own games, they play their own way, they are very experienced and it seems to work for them."

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