Worcestershire v Pakistanis, Worcester, 1st day August 13, 2010

Mohammad Yousuf shines on rainy day

48

Pakistanis 112 for 2 (Yousuf 40*) v Worcestershire
Scorecard

Mohammad Yousuf walked in at New Road 57 minutes into the Pakistanis' innings after the openers, having started on a pretty note, had departed in quick succession. As bad light and spells of rain curtailed the most of the day's play, the severity of the situation probably wasn't lost on Pakistan's most senior batsman.

All summer the Pakistani batsmen have failed to stay long periods at the crease. After the 150-run defeat against England at Trent Bridge, the PCB, without any hint or suggestion, rushed in Yousuf. His experience was crucial for the young middle order, it was felt. Yousuf had led Pakistan as recently as January but retired abruptly and unceremoniously after a PCB inquest nailed him as one of the culprits for the abysmal Australian tour. Fortunately, he arrived in England with a fresh mindset.

He had opted to sit out of the Edgbaston Test, having landed on the eve of the match. On Friday he did not have to wait for long. Yasir Hameed, having been dropped once by Moeen Ali at second slip off Chris Russell, went for a rash stroke the very next delivery, pitched in the channel, and was picked neatly by first slip by Vikram Solanki, who had stepped down as Worcester captain late last evening.

Azhar Ali, the other opener, was run out having found himself at the same end as Hameed less than three overs earlier. Suddenly, Kamran Akmal's decision to bat on an overcast day, with a batting order short of runs, seemed dicey.

But Yousuf calmed the nerves. He slid in like a wrestler into the ring. Then, with a hunched stance, he judiciously picked the right balls to play. The first delivery was left alone. Ditto the next one. Two runs were stolen after a misfield at short over. The next 16 deliveries, spread around an hour-long rain break, did not fetch any runs.

As the others rushed back to the dressing room, Yousuf altered his path to sign some autographs. He wanted to be there in the middle. He remained padded all through the extended interval as tea was taken, and when play resumed an hour before the regulated stoppage time, he had gathered his wits.

The 21-year-old Russell, who is on the Worcester staff and playing his maiden game for the first eleven, was spanked disdainfully as he kept pitching short. Yousuf played a classic square cut past the point boundary. A ball later he steered it past the slips and the vacant third man for another four. The shot of the day arrived a few overs later when Yousuf, in his 30s, charged Russell, and hit a straight drive past the bowler. The local lad was seething with anger mid-pitch.

As he was trying to find his own feet, Yousuf helped Umar Amin settle down quickly, too. At the change of overs he was intensely speaking to the left-hander, animatedly directing the dos and don'ts. Amin was guarded to begin with, yet grew confident with time.

On a day when rain had robbed about 68 overs, Yousuf maintained his calm and stood out like the rainbow that appeared late in the afternoon and brightened the Pakistanis' spirits.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mysecretme on August 15, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Dr. Adi, Even Rahul Dravid struggled in Australia until he found out that scoring quickly and being positive is imporatant there. Cut MoYo some slack. Afterall he is the best that Pakistanis have at the moment.

  • on August 14, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Come on! M. Yo. I am expecting a 300 from you at the upcoming test :)

    Even with Pakistan's poor batting in the first 2 tests, hadn't it been for poor fielding from Pakistan, Pakistan could have won both the tests and thats saying something about the AWESOME Pakistan Bowling. With M.Yo. coming in we have a very strong chance of winning the next 2 tests :)

  • on August 14, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Yep, thats ryt... We need Yusouf... And we dnt need him only coz we need him 2 score runs but so that the youngsters can learn 4rom sum1 senior... Get sum xperience... Jst lyk wat Sachin does with th rst of Indian batsmen, they alwayz bat good wen he is there but wen he is gone, they all tend 2 get out in silly wayz...

  • ScreenNaveedFazili on August 14, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Form is temporary and class is permanent. Yousuf has been a player of real class over the years and has proved here once again with his composite start after a long lapse. It is very unlikely that you will select a whole lot of young and inexperienced players and expect them to shine and win games for you. PCB should deal with this matter seriously and should bring in younis into the test format as early as possible, otherwise it would be curtains for pakistan as far as the upcoming tests against England and the test series against S.africa is concerned.

  • on August 14, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    finally something to cheer for the pakistani fans while the team was batting

  • shivam1987 on August 14, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    now bring back younis too

  • on August 14, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Long live Mohammad Yousef. he shows that he is really gr8 and always help the juniors when they are together at the crease, the OLD IS GOLD, he shut the mouths of his critics that he is out of touch since moe than six months, and not much expected out of him. he shows his clabar and willingness to play every short according to its standard. I hope he will be BIG PLUS in thenext test match which is not very far. I hope PCB still time to call a few seniors only for the help of JUNIORS and also for the servival of cricket in Pakistanm, which is very much effected due to no home series.

  • JackTrez on August 14, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    He really is a classy player.

  • K.A.K on August 14, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Nice review Nagraj! You have found the silver-lining of the rain-hit day.

  • Dr.Adi on August 14, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    again one player whose stats over rate his ability.avgs nothing against south africa and aus and if u take into account the fact that he has always struggled in aus and south africa then we r left to think is it always wise to consider stats and records as the best yard stick to measure greatness.once heard a comentator say that he did break viv richard's record but did he face the likes of lillee,thompson,imran,wasim,kapil,botham,qadir,hadlee,willis,pasco and waqar.he did shine and scored but never dominated real fast men and to do so on green tracks is a dream he can see in slumber only.

  • mysecretme on August 15, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Dr. Adi, Even Rahul Dravid struggled in Australia until he found out that scoring quickly and being positive is imporatant there. Cut MoYo some slack. Afterall he is the best that Pakistanis have at the moment.

  • on August 14, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Come on! M. Yo. I am expecting a 300 from you at the upcoming test :)

    Even with Pakistan's poor batting in the first 2 tests, hadn't it been for poor fielding from Pakistan, Pakistan could have won both the tests and thats saying something about the AWESOME Pakistan Bowling. With M.Yo. coming in we have a very strong chance of winning the next 2 tests :)

  • on August 14, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Yep, thats ryt... We need Yusouf... And we dnt need him only coz we need him 2 score runs but so that the youngsters can learn 4rom sum1 senior... Get sum xperience... Jst lyk wat Sachin does with th rst of Indian batsmen, they alwayz bat good wen he is there but wen he is gone, they all tend 2 get out in silly wayz...

  • ScreenNaveedFazili on August 14, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Form is temporary and class is permanent. Yousuf has been a player of real class over the years and has proved here once again with his composite start after a long lapse. It is very unlikely that you will select a whole lot of young and inexperienced players and expect them to shine and win games for you. PCB should deal with this matter seriously and should bring in younis into the test format as early as possible, otherwise it would be curtains for pakistan as far as the upcoming tests against England and the test series against S.africa is concerned.

  • on August 14, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    finally something to cheer for the pakistani fans while the team was batting

  • shivam1987 on August 14, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    now bring back younis too

  • on August 14, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Long live Mohammad Yousef. he shows that he is really gr8 and always help the juniors when they are together at the crease, the OLD IS GOLD, he shut the mouths of his critics that he is out of touch since moe than six months, and not much expected out of him. he shows his clabar and willingness to play every short according to its standard. I hope he will be BIG PLUS in thenext test match which is not very far. I hope PCB still time to call a few seniors only for the help of JUNIORS and also for the servival of cricket in Pakistanm, which is very much effected due to no home series.

  • JackTrez on August 14, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    He really is a classy player.

  • K.A.K on August 14, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Nice review Nagraj! You have found the silver-lining of the rain-hit day.

  • Dr.Adi on August 14, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    again one player whose stats over rate his ability.avgs nothing against south africa and aus and if u take into account the fact that he has always struggled in aus and south africa then we r left to think is it always wise to consider stats and records as the best yard stick to measure greatness.once heard a comentator say that he did break viv richard's record but did he face the likes of lillee,thompson,imran,wasim,kapil,botham,qadir,hadlee,willis,pasco and waqar.he did shine and scored but never dominated real fast men and to do so on green tracks is a dream he can see in slumber only.

  • Rafi123 on August 14, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Yousuf Is BEST FOREVER...

  • inzisaloos on August 14, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    It's ridiculous that anyone should have questioned Yousuf's inclusion in this team. Only in Pakistan would someone with his many achievements in the game be hung out to dry by administrators and critcs alike. Anyone with any knowledge about the game would realise that he is one of the most talented batsmen we have ever produced. He may not have hit the dizzy heights of his annus mirablis of 2006 in recent times but then again who has? Besides, Pakistan has been starved of cricket in the intervening years. As the old cliche says, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

  • captainzaibee on August 14, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    well, return of yousaf will make an impact. im sure the guys in paki team has a lot 2 learn from the master batsman. capt like salman who himself is uncomfortable in english conditions cant motivate the players. Anyhow, he is young n dis mus b a learning experience for him n his side. Best of luck Pakistan

  • on August 14, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Combination of Youth and experience is a win win situation.Get Younis in for the sake of Pakistan cricket.As our legend Zaheer Abbas said,the fault lies with PCB for Pak debacle in cricket. Zaheer can you take over from Ejaz Butt?? Mehdi Singapore

  • on August 14, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    he's BACK..i hope PCB n the team mgt use their brains & bring back younis too!

  • on August 14, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    Mohammad Yousuf enjoyed being back in the middle

  • on August 14, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    Looking forward to you Yousuf...Pakistan needs you in that middle order more then ever....welcome back!

  • spin_king4 on August 13, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    i think it is good that yousuf is in the team, we can already see he is a class above the rest of the team batting wise and his support certianly seems to be helping umar amin. hopefully he can have this calming effect on the rest of the young order.

  • on August 13, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    Go Mohammad Yousuf Go u r the man :D

  • on August 13, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Happy to see YOUSUF to be the part of team..............Now I can that Pakistan may win upcoming matches........... :)

  • on August 13, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    "At the change of overs he was intensely speaking to the left-hander, animatedly directing the dos and don'ts"

    that is the role of experience which our captain cannot do, infact he, himself need that advise, he attitude at yousuf selection was ridiculous,

    furthermore those bit of advises cannot be given by any coach..

  • on August 13, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    I hope MoYo would score a big ton and pull out his team from 2-0 to 2-1. God bless this team :) Happy independence day to all Pakistan team fans !!!

  • Imad_K on August 13, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    M Yousuf should always be in the team like Y Khan. Pakistan have relied on three batsmen over the years - Inzi, M Yousuf and Y Khan. As I said previously in my posts before the England tests, Pakistan should take nothing from the win against Australia except that they bowled well. The problem with Pakistan for the last 10/15 years has been their batting. Previously it's been the fact that when they lost 10 wickets 8 of those wickets were normally thrown away by the Pakistani batsmen playing stupid shots. Now it seems that is still happening but it also appears they are technically not up to the standards required. Pakistan need to understand though that they just can't rely on one batsman to dig them out of the hole. They need to knuckle down, spend time at the crease, stop playing stupid shots, stop hitting balls in the air direct to the fielders, stop chasing wide balls etc. They need the top three batsmen to really produce for the team to score any kind of decent runs.

  • FireBlazer99 on August 13, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    come on yousuf bhai. do wht everyone has expected from u. Kick the englands stomachs and help pk. go yusuff!!!!!!!

  • on August 13, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Welcome Back Mohammad Yousuf

  • on August 13, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    I have a suggestion for the spend thrift PCB, and I want to see how many to you will agree with me. Make Yosuf Pakistan batting coach cum player till the end of world cup and sack Ijaz ahmed as the batting/ dropping catches coach...those who have seen him bat will never let him coach their kids.

  • on August 13, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    Excellent decision to bring Yousaf back. The way he guided Amin in the middle, this is exactly what Pakistan was missing. Presence of a senior player. I hope Yousaf can show this form in the 3rd Test as well. Goodluck Pakistan !

  • on August 13, 2010, 20:58 GMT

    he is he only hope left for pakistan in term of batting if we talk about test matches.

  • drchowdhury on August 13, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    my fav batsman a class by himself hope he does well

  • mkhalilz on August 13, 2010, 20:33 GMT

    YES!! Muhammad Yousuf we love you... keep the good going my man... God bless you and Pakistan

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 13, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    "Form is temporary, class is permanent" !

  • Hassan.Farooqi on August 13, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Return of the King - Part II. He made a similar comeback in Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka by hitting a century, after being dropped from test for a long time for playing in Indian Cricket League.

  • azmat666 on August 13, 2010, 20:16 GMT

    this is called experience

  • SajidMirza on August 13, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    As we all already know he is a class act, he surely give great support to pakistan middle order which was lack of experience and full of out of fashion players like malik (i dnt know why malik is in test side, he is not batting and bowling well even dropping catches). Wish yousuf a very good luck on independence day..........

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    old is gold and he is back

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    I hope yousuf continues his this good form for Pakistan evn in the official matches....We need stabilty in our batting order...he might be the right man !!

  • EXRampage on August 13, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    He should shine where it matters most ie. against England in 3rd test

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Mohammad Yousaf is very stylish and seasoned batsman. I hope he will continue this form in upcoming test and avoid to be part any controversy. I can only pray for our cricket board to be on track.

  • mkskhan on August 13, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Well Yusuf is a great player. I hope he is given a propper chance to prove to the world that pakistan are better players.

  • Desihungama on August 13, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Suddenly Kamran Akmal's decision to bat on an overcast day, with a batting order scarce of runs seemed dicey.

    Ha-- This was done to ensure Yousaf/Hameed fail in their endevours. Too bad Kamran. Looks like an egg on your face. What's he doing captaining Pak side at this crucial juncture? Shouldn't Butt be getting his batting practise? And what the heck is Malik doing in the team? Hey PCB, I married an Indian too. Can I play for Pakistan also? Seems like that is the only criteria nowadays. Great to see Yousaf getting some runs.

  • amynrehimi on August 13, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    Good job, Pakistan and Yousuf. They look set for a turnaround, there is no subsitute for experience, with Younis Khan added to the side imagine the potential. PCB should be handed over to the military and govenned by it. We need the disciplive and the hard work without the politics and we can be world beaters.

  • Umair_umair on August 13, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    But there will be no Russel in Englands Test Squad, Rather Yousaf will have to face Anderson, Broad, Finn. Hope yousaf comes good in the test matches and show how ordinary Anderson actually is.

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Welcome Back yusuf! lets do it

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    not exactly too encouraging but anyway good to see that he is at least good enough to be the best for this team. They should have brought Younis in though, he wold have been better suited... Kamran Akmal captain?

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    On a day when rain had robbed about 68 overs Yousuf maintained his calm and stood out like the rainbow that arched its way late in the afternoon and brightened the Pakistanis' spirits. Yousuf helped Umar Amin to settle down quickly, too.

    Nice analysis, Nagraj.

  • usman_nile1994 on August 13, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Even against this bowling Azhar Ali can't score. Yasir Hameed disappointed but still i feel he should be in team in place of Shoaib Malik. I wish Younis Khan could come in Azhar Ali's place. The only thing selectors saw in him was to block the ball(they forgot to see if he knows any scoring strokes). I was really surprised that Umar Amin scored 21. Even if the bowling was not of high level but Amin is so bad batsman. Pakistan should choose Tanvir Ahmed or Wahab Riaz on this match's performance.

  • sharprider on August 13, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Yes! That's what was required much earlier on during this arduous tour by the Pakistani team. However, better late than never. PCB made amends after learning the hard way. The only demerit of the composition is the bowling outfit which has three newcomers in Wahab, Tanvir and Raza Hassan since only one of them would be able to find his way into the side unless the tour selectors want to have an additional spinner, which, after all, might not be such a bad idea. The middle order looks OK but what is Kamran doing there, especially since his place in the team is very doubtful in view of the batting performance of Zulqarnain in the last Test?. Well, as one can see, Umar Amin is still being given chances after chances alongwith Azhar, which hints at only one of them being dropped for the Oval Test.

  • W350 on August 13, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    Well tons of experience is what he just displayed...the calmness of his innings is something the youngsters need to watch....Might be a lil too early into the innings n tour for Yusuf..but He is a class act.

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  • W350 on August 13, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    Well tons of experience is what he just displayed...the calmness of his innings is something the youngsters need to watch....Might be a lil too early into the innings n tour for Yusuf..but He is a class act.

  • sharprider on August 13, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Yes! That's what was required much earlier on during this arduous tour by the Pakistani team. However, better late than never. PCB made amends after learning the hard way. The only demerit of the composition is the bowling outfit which has three newcomers in Wahab, Tanvir and Raza Hassan since only one of them would be able to find his way into the side unless the tour selectors want to have an additional spinner, which, after all, might not be such a bad idea. The middle order looks OK but what is Kamran doing there, especially since his place in the team is very doubtful in view of the batting performance of Zulqarnain in the last Test?. Well, as one can see, Umar Amin is still being given chances after chances alongwith Azhar, which hints at only one of them being dropped for the Oval Test.

  • usman_nile1994 on August 13, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Even against this bowling Azhar Ali can't score. Yasir Hameed disappointed but still i feel he should be in team in place of Shoaib Malik. I wish Younis Khan could come in Azhar Ali's place. The only thing selectors saw in him was to block the ball(they forgot to see if he knows any scoring strokes). I was really surprised that Umar Amin scored 21. Even if the bowling was not of high level but Amin is so bad batsman. Pakistan should choose Tanvir Ahmed or Wahab Riaz on this match's performance.

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    On a day when rain had robbed about 68 overs Yousuf maintained his calm and stood out like the rainbow that arched its way late in the afternoon and brightened the Pakistanis' spirits. Yousuf helped Umar Amin to settle down quickly, too.

    Nice analysis, Nagraj.

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    not exactly too encouraging but anyway good to see that he is at least good enough to be the best for this team. They should have brought Younis in though, he wold have been better suited... Kamran Akmal captain?

  • on August 13, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Welcome Back yusuf! lets do it

  • Umair_umair on August 13, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    But there will be no Russel in Englands Test Squad, Rather Yousaf will have to face Anderson, Broad, Finn. Hope yousaf comes good in the test matches and show how ordinary Anderson actually is.

  • amynrehimi on August 13, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    Good job, Pakistan and Yousuf. They look set for a turnaround, there is no subsitute for experience, with Younis Khan added to the side imagine the potential. PCB should be handed over to the military and govenned by it. We need the disciplive and the hard work without the politics and we can be world beaters.

  • Desihungama on August 13, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Suddenly Kamran Akmal's decision to bat on an overcast day, with a batting order scarce of runs seemed dicey.

    Ha-- This was done to ensure Yousaf/Hameed fail in their endevours. Too bad Kamran. Looks like an egg on your face. What's he doing captaining Pak side at this crucial juncture? Shouldn't Butt be getting his batting practise? And what the heck is Malik doing in the team? Hey PCB, I married an Indian too. Can I play for Pakistan also? Seems like that is the only criteria nowadays. Great to see Yousaf getting some runs.

  • mkskhan on August 13, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Well Yusuf is a great player. I hope he is given a propper chance to prove to the world that pakistan are better players.