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Stunning Yousuf salvages draw for Pakistan in second Test
by AFP


Ground:Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Scorecard:Pakistan v West Indies
Player:JE Taylor, Imran Farhat, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Yousuf, S Chanderpaul
Event:West Indies in Pakistan 2006/07

DateLine: 23rd November 2006

 

Mohammad Yousuf's record-equalling century salvaged a draw for Pakistan and ended the West Indies' chances of a series-levelling win in the second Test at Multan stadium on Thursday.

 

The stylish middle-order batsman narrowly missed a double century for the second time in as many matches, making 191 to help his team reach 461-7 on the fifth and final day, keeping their 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

 

Yousuf survived a dropped chance and some close appeals to make his record-equalling seventh century of the year and the 21st of his career. He hit 21 boundaries during his gritty innings of 424 minutes.

 

He matches the record jointly held by the West Indian Vivian Richards and Sri Lankan Aravinda de Silva. Richards hit seven hundreds in 1976 while De Silva recorded the feat in 1997.

 

He was finally dismissed by left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed, caught at mid-wicket by Shivnarine Chanderpaul. But by then the home team had built a lead of 227 runs and the West Indies had no option but to settle for a draw.

 

West Indian captain Brian Lara said his team needed to improve their fielding after dropping Yousuf four times in two Tests.

 

"It was a tough match and we worked hard throughout. The one aspect where we need to work is the fielding. We have to do something on catching," said Lara.

 

The master batsman, whose epic 216 in the high-scoring Test nearly won it for the Windies, added: "Now we have to do better in the third Test to level the series."

 

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Yousuf's batting was "exemplary", adding: "It needed a lot of characer to save the match after conceding a lead of over 200 runs."

 

"Getting a draw will raise the confidence of the team and we will be more determined in the next Test."

 

The West Indies were unlucky not to have dismissed Yousuf earlier, after two close leg-before shouts were turned down by the umpires and Runako Morton floored a straightforward slip catch off Daren Powell when Yousuf was on 108.

 

Yousuf added an invaluable 152 runs for the sixth wicket with all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who made a precious 80, with eight boundaries and a six.

 

The West Indies took the crucial wickets of Shoaib Malik (four) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (ten) to get closer to a series-levelling win in the pre-lunch session.

 

Yousuf had put on 119 runs for the third wicket with opener Imran Farhat (76) to dim the threat and added another 41 for the fourth wicket with captain Inzamam.

 

The 32 year old hooked paceman Jerome Taylor for his 13th boundary to complete his hundred off 153 balls.

 

Farhat was run out by a brilliant piece of fielding by Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The West Indian made a diving stop to catch Farhat out of his crease when he was sent back by Yousuf.

 

There could have been further disaster for the home team had burly Inzamam not reached his crease on a sharp single to point in the next over.

 

The West Indies took the prized wicket of Inzamam with the second new ball when fast bowler Jerome Taylor trapped him in front, before Powell bowled Malik three overs before lunch, with West Indies still in with a chance of victory.

 

But Yousuf and Razzaq ensured Pakistan saved the match.

 

Razzaq finally holed out off Mohammed. He not only helped Yousuf in saving the match but also saved his spot for the third Test.

 

Yousuf, who has been in prolific form in 2006, hit 192 in Pakistan's nine-wicket win in the first Test in Lahore last week.

 

He has now accumulated 1,562 runs in ten Tests this year. The record of most runs in a calendar year is held by West Indian Richards, who notched 1,710 runs in 11 Tests in 1976.

 

The third Test starts at National stadium in Karachi from November 27.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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