Youhana thanks God
At Every landmark he reaches, Yousuf Youhana makes the sign of the cross.
There is a simple reason for that.
'Without Him, I'm nothing. I totally believe in God. Nothing can [work] without God's help,' he said after his face-saving century on the opening day of the second Test between West Indies and Pakistan at Kensington Oval yesterday.
'My performance was God-written,' added the stylish 25-year-old right-hander who is one of four Christians in the mainly Muslim Pakistan team.
Twice he made the sign of the cross during the six hours he spent in the middle.
The first was on reaching 50 for the 11th time in his 20 Test and the second was in celebration of his second Test hundred.
For all of his natural abundance of talent, Youhana had been nowhere near his best during this tour.
He had just the one significant score in the preceding limited-overs internationals, was dismissed for a second-ball duck in the first Test and was run out in both innings of the final first-class match before this Test.
Yet, there were two timely interventions that may have set up what happened yesterday.
The first: 'My wife is coming here ' a lucky thing for me.'
The second: Before the start of the day, Youhana's boyhood hero and current team coach Javed Miandad autographed the bat that was to later make 115 priceless runs and transform Pakistan's uncomfortable 37 for five into a satisfactory 253 all out.
'There was a lot of pressure on me because the last two or three months I have not given a good performance, but my coach and captain backed me today.'
He was especially thankful for the work Javed had done.
'Every day he gives me tips. I was told by my coach that I had a little problem with good-length balls. He took me and did a lot of work with me. That's why I did well.'
Youhana remembers very well his debut Test hundred, which was made against Zimbabwe in Lahore, and his 95 against Australia in Brisbane. But, after careful thought, he rated yesterday's century as his best Test innings.
It was the second successive match that the West Indies were frustrated after dominating the early exchanges, but captain Jimmy Adams was in no way disappointed.
Where is the West Indies going wrong?
'I would turn that question around a little bit,' Adams responded.
'Ten wickets in a day is a fantastic effort. Maybe if you wanted to be hypocritical, you could say 220 all out or 210 all out.
'At the end of the day, I'm still very, very pleased to have ten Pakistani wickets on this wicket. It was a good effort by the bowlers.'
He added that he was not too certain what he would have done had the West Indies won the toss.
'We weren't firmly decided as to what to do. Maybe it was a good toss to lose.'