Younus falls short of record in drawn Test
by AFP

Ground:National Stadium, Karachi
Scorecard:Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Player:Kamran Akmal, Yasir Arafat, Younis Khan
Event:Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2008/09

DateLine: 25th February 2009


Younus Khan failed to post the highest Test score by a Pakistani batsman as the first Test against Sri Lanka ended in a draw, after some late excitement raised hopes of an unlikely result.


Khan fell for 313, 24 short of Hanif Mohammad's record score of 337, but the home team still achieved their highest Test innings score of 765-6.


Sri Lanka had declared their first innings at 644-7.


After Younus's dismissal leg-spinner Danish Kaneria sparked late interest in a game heading for a draw when he claimed the wickets of Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene (22) and Kumar Sangakkara (65) in the space of four overs.


But Thilan Samaraweera (24) and Prasanna Jayawardene (seven) played out seven overs to take their team to 144-5 and thwart Pakistan's attempts of an unlikely win.


The second and final Test starts in Lahore Sunday.


Younus said he did not feel disappointed at not breaking records.


"I am not heartbroken," said Younus. "I may have more opportunities in the future so records don't matter for me. I am satisfied with the team effort and will go into the second Test, hoping Sri Lanka struggle like they did today."


Jayawardene was also satisfied with the result.


"You always want to play well in the first Test of a two-match series," said Jayawardene, who scored 241 and shared a world record stand of 437 with Thilan Samaraweera (231) in his team's first innings.


"We batted badly in the second innings but overall it was a satisfying result. We had our opportunities but Younus played a brilliant knock and took away our chances."


Trailing by 121 runs, Sri Lanka had a disastrous start to their second innings as they lost opener Malinda Warnapura (two), caught behind off paceman Umar Gul in the first over.


Gul then had Tillakaratne Dilshan (eight) caught off a mistimed pull. In between Gul's double strike, opener Tharanga Paranavitana was run out when he failed to beat Yasir Arafat's direct throw while taking a single.


Paranavitana, who fell for a duck in the first innings, managed just nine to cap a miserable Test debut.


It was also a setback for 31-year-old Younus, Pakistan's new captain, who had set his sights both on Hanif's record for Pakistan and West Indies Brian Lara's world record score of 400.


Younus, who resumed at 306, played on to Sri Lanka's Dilhara Fernando in the ninth over of the day, to the disappointment of a sparse crowd at the National Stadium hoping to see him break Lara's record, set against England in 2004.


Hanif's Pakistani record was set against the West Indies in Barbados in 1958.


Kamran Akmal notched a fiery career-best 158 as Pakistan improved on their previous best Test innings total of 708, made against England at The Oval in 1987.


The home team's total of 765 runs also becomes the highest innings total in a Test in Pakistan, overtaking the 699-5 by Pakistan against India at Lahore in 1989.


Younus, who came to the crease on Sunday, batted for a marathon 12 hours and 48 minutes, facing 568 balls and hitting 27 boundaries and four sixes.


His triple ton eclipsed Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene's 240, part of a record 437 fourth-wicket stand with Thilan Samaraweera (231).


Akmal, 27, completed his 2,000 runs when he was on 56. He hit five sixes and eight boundaries. Arafat finished with 50 not out and put on 169 quick runs for the seventh wicket with Akmal.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)