Younis pleased as Pakistan take the lead
Younis Khan was pleased with his half-century on day three at the Basin Reserve as Pakistan went to stumps 11 runs ahead of New Zealand, having made 376. Younis' 142-run stand with Misbah-ul-Haq formed the bedrock of Pakistan's total as the pair ground New Zealand down for the best part of two sessions, scoring at less than three-an-over and batting out sixteen maidens between them.
"I had a hundred against South Africa and now I have a good innings here as well," said Younis. "Before the World Cup you need a couple of good innings like today's one, so I'm happy about that."
He was also relieved to end his run of poor form on the tour, having made only 40 runs in five outings, which included three Twenty20s, a tour match and the first Test in Hamilton. "I needed an innings because I couldn't make any runs in the Twenty20s and in the first Test I only scored 20 plus," said Younis. "Today at the crease I just wanted to stay in, face more balls and play some shots."
Younis and Misbah batted patiently as the hosts toiled in the field, the pair happy to wait for the bad balls to put away rather than attempting to break the shackles, even with Daniel Vettori at his miserly best during the middle session. The partnership was cut short by a bad umpiring decision when Younis was given out, caught at short leg, after he had failed to get a touch on a Vettori arm ball. "We were a little unlucky because we were almost at 150 runs with the partnership. It's in the nature of the game and the umpires are also human so I think you can't blame anyone for that decision. In future I think we need referrals in Test games, in One Dayers and in Twenty20s as well."
The ferocious winds that buffeted the Basin Reserve on the first two days had eased on day three, and Younis was grateful at not having to battle the weather as well as a disciplined New Zealand attack. "It was my first time playing in these windy conditions. But as an international cricketer you're supposed to do well in these conditions. I've already played eight or nine years in international cricket, so I should be used to it. The wind today wasn't as bad today as it was in the last couple of days, so I was lucky."
Younis claimed that Pakistan's performance tomorrow will crucial to the outcome of the match after the teams had little to choose between them at stumps on day three. "The match is quite even at the moment and whoever plays well tomorrow will have a good chance. The pitch is slow and it's turning as well. It's not a pacy one, so if you play proper shots at the crease you have a good chance to score good runs at the end."