'Need to play first hour well' - Younis
Younis Khan, who scored his 23rd Test hundred on Wednesday - equalling Javed Miandad on the list of Pakistan batsmen with most centuries - said Pakistan will need to add to their substantial lead in the first hour to give themselves a good chance of taking control in the Test. Younis' hundred, along with Misbah-ul-Haq's fifth Test century, helped Pakistan take a 123-run lead over Sri Lanka on the second day of the Test, recovering from 83 for 3 to a solid 327 for 4 at close.
"If we bat for another one hour tomorrow and add as many runs as possible, it will be good because Sri Lanka has some good players and I remember the last time we played them here (in 2011), Kumar Sangakkara got double hundred in the second innings (to draw the match)," Younis said. "The first hour will be crucial as the ball is still hard so if we play one hour tomorrow we should add some more runs."
Younis' 218-run, fourth-wicket stand with Misbah was the third century-run partnership by the pair against Sri Lanka and the batsman spoke about how the two built their innings.
"I tried to motivate Misbah and he tried to do the same to me, saying that we must stay at the wicket, and that's how our partnership developed and gave the team a good position," Younis said. "He[Misbah] is a very senior player and he has been playing well so I tried to give him company."
Younis and Misbah were particularly aggressive in the second session of play when they added 130 runs in 33 overs. The batsmen didn't allow the Sri Lankan spinners to settle and attacked them, with Younis hitting Rangana Herath for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries. When asked if there was a deliberate plan to attack after lunch, Younis said: "There is a probability the bowlers might get complacent after having lunch, but there was no plan. We never had such a plan to play big shots, but when we got loose balls, we capitalised on them."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here