New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 3rd day January 17, 2011

Younis pleased as Pakistan take the lead

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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."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on January 18, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    Ok fine the wind has taken the umpires' EARS. I suppose it has taken their EYES as well?That they couldnt SEE the gap between Younis's bat and pad? And the fact that there was no bat involved? Plus if they can't hear they shouldn't have HEARD the deflection off the pad :@

  • dummy4fb on January 18, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    @S.N.Singh: Get your facts straight. We wouldn't mind bad umpiring if 4 bad decisions went our way and 4 went their way. Its the obvious bias in these errors we are rightly complaining about. Id rather have a bad umpire(eg asoka de silva) than a biased one.

  • fmpak on January 17, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    If bad light and bad playing condition can lead to match abandonment why not bad umpiring? Whats the role of match refree in this situation?

  • sunnymachoo on January 17, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Yes, ICC MUST start using UDRS in all matches, or shouldn't use it at all. Maybe Younis was denied a century because of unfair use of UDRS and perhaps stats could be different if UDRS was there....

  • Mprezd on January 17, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    UDRS should be implemented. I think it is good that Vettori acknowledged in the last game that, even though things probably went their way, that UDRS should still be used.

    As a Kiwi I am enjoying the balance of this test match as it stands, but NZ have had the rub of the green with decisions in their favour. The wind I think has played a big part in the decisions though as someone else mentioned - it is hard to hear. I am from Wellington and have umpired before in the wind. It is really difficult to concentrate and hear when it is blowing a gale.

    Anyway, I look forward to 2 more days of cricket, played in a good spirit, between two teams who seem to get on in the field. There may be a little bit of aggro there, but both teams can still have a laugh and a chat. That's what I like to see - play hard, but have fun.

    All the best to both teams.

  • le_stephenois on January 17, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    cannot see anyway NZ are going to score 300 in a day in overcast conditions, Vettori is not the kind of captain who will declare with a 220 lead... NZ are either going to collapse and lose or they will bat too long and Pakistan will draw... weather permitting of course, although I think rain is predicted.

  • dummy4fb on January 17, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    7 bad umpiring decisions in 2 innings - ICC, are you there? Either the referal system has to be there or not. Don't understand the logic that its decided by the playing nations. J. Botha of South Africa also got a rough decision which changed the outcome of the game. ICC has to wake up and implement referal system across the board. When you have proven technology, why not use it!

  • dummy4fb on January 17, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    I agree with Mr. Shahroz Zafar's assessment and also the comments of Morfi. If Pakistan ends up with more than 250 runs to score on the final day, then there's a good chance that New Zealand may win as Pakistan is prone to collapsing. It was really great of Younis to say, "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." Above all, I'm very pleased with the way Mishbah has responded to the captaincy job. Love this guy. Although he was very unlucky to miss the century. The match is evenly poised, but my money is still on Pakistan.

  • dummy4fb on January 17, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    UDRS should be made compulsary in all test matches.ICC should do it.they are not doing it because india ignoring the system

  • Hamid403 on January 17, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    he is a great Character a very friendly and gentle personality

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