An unbeaten century by Younus Khan, the first of the series, took Pakistan to a superb position as they piled on a 180-run lead at the close of the second day of the third test against England on Saturday.
The hosts ended the day on 222 for two in their second innings to leave number one-ranked test side England facing a third defeat in the three-test series unless the struggling tourists suddenly strike form. The England bowlers laboured as an unbeaten 194-run partnership between Younus (115 not out) and Azhar Ali threatened to take the match away from Andrew Strauss’s men, who must bat last having crumbled in a similar position in the second test in Abu Dhabi.
“I was very upset with the way I got out in the first innings. I was determined not to repeat this,” Younus told a news conference.
“I just thought I should do something that no one else has done in this series. No one has made a century so far.” Younus’s 20th test century was studded with 11 fours and one six and came of 195 balls as the 34-year old batsman skillfully worked through England’s pace and spin attack.
“Whatever we can get tomorrow would be good and a strong target. I was lucky today and the ball kept coming on to the bat. Also, I didn’t make any mistakes,” he added.
“The first session tomorrow will be crucial. I think England tried their best but at the moment we have an edge over them.
They need some more luck and aggression and they may get through.” A dashing century by Younus Khan and a patient half-century by Azhar Ali helped Pakistan take a formidable lead of 180 runs against England on second day of the third and final Test being played here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Both batsmen first shrugged off the early loss of their openers to reach 120 for two at tea and then extended the score to 222-2 at stumps.Younis made 115 not out, supported at the other end by Azhar who was on 75. The pair has so far added 194 runs for their unbeaten third wicket partnership.
Pakistan were 180 runs ahead of England with eight wickets remaining in the second innings. Pakistan, who lead 2-0 in the three-Test series, are hoping for a clean sweep by putting up a formidable total in their second innings to punish the tourists.
When Younis swept Monty Panesar for two runs, he reached his 20th Test hundred from 166 balls with eleven fours and a six.This was the first hundred in the current Test series as no other batsman from Pakistan and England could so far make any three-figure score. Earlier, Pakistan bowled out England’s lower order to trail by 42 runs as the touring party made 141 in reply to Pakistan’s first innings of 99. Abdur Rehman’s five-wicket haul ensured a half century by captain Andrew Strauss (56) only resulted in a modest lead for England.
Then Pakistan made a disastrous start again in the second innings losing their openers for 28 runs on the board.James Anderson was the first to strike, dismissing Taufeeq Umar (6) for the second time in the match, this time caught at slip. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar trapped Mohammad Hafeez lbw (21) on the sweep.