Younis bats Pak to series win against Sri Lanka
PALLEKELE, July 7
Younis Khan hit a brilliant unbeaten 171 as Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the third Test on Tuesday to win their first series on the island since 2006.
The tourists surpassed the target of 377 runs in the post-lunch session of the fifth day’s play in Pallekele, finishing on 382-3. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq made 59 not out, smashing the winning six off Jehan Mubarak.
“This is such a big victory for us,” said a delighted Misbah as Pakistan jumped three places to No 3 in the official rankings behind South Africa and Pakistan. “We had lost some Tests in Sri Lanka earlier because we panicked. We just wanted to bat calmly this time. “This series win means a lot to me after we did not fare well in the last three series in Sri Lanka.” It was the first time a visiting team had scored more than 300 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test on Sri Lankan soil.
Younis, who made his 100th Test appearance in the second match, ended the game just 19 runs away from surpassing Javed Miandad’s tally of 8,832 runs to become Pakistan’s leading scorer in Tests. Pakistan added 25 runs to their overnight score when they lost the wicket of Shan Masood, who was stumped by Dinesh Chandimal off Tharindu Kaushal for 125. The Kuwait-born left-hander’s maiden Test century came during a third-wicket stand of 242 with Younis after Pakistan had been reduced to 13-2 on Monday afternoon.
Leg-spinner Yasir was named man of the series for his 24 wickets in the three Tests. Younis was adjudged the man of the match. Younis, 37, who came to bat after the fall of the second wicket, remained rock solid at one end during a seven-hour vigil in which he hit 18 boundaries. Younis’ five hundreds in the fourth innings — in a career tally of 30 — are the most by any batsman. Misbah provided able support during a 127-run stand with Younis, mixing caution with aggression which fetched him eight fours and a six. Pakistan had won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets and Sri Lanka took the second in Colombo by seven wickets.