Younis Khan rescues Pakistan

KINGSTON: Younis Khan hit 106 and Pakistan scored a satisfying 336 for six against the West Indies on day one of the second cricket Test at Sabina Park on Friday.

Younis cracked 14 boundaries in his ninth Test century. He got solid middle-order support from captain Inzamam-ul-Haq (50) and Asim Kamal (51) as the visitor threatened to dominate.

But seamer Corey Collymore claimed four for 55, including three wickets in the final session, to leave the first-day honours shared.

Pakistan, choosing to bat first after winning the toss, got early jitters when both openers were back in the pavilion just after the first hour.

Daren Powell gave the home team a breakthrough in the seventh over when Yasir Hameed edged a loose drive to first slip where Chris Gayle pouched an easy catch. Hameed hit three 4s in 14.

Shoaib Malik, promoted to open for the first time in his Test career, battled through the first hour without looking convincing.

He finally perished for 13 at 43 for two, Collymore finding a faint edge through to wicketkeeper Courtney Browne.

But Inzamam and Younis, Pakistan's two most experienced players, dulled the West Indies attack with a partnership of 87 either side of lunch.

Inzamam, who missed the first Test defeat while serving a one-match ban, brought up his half century off 58 deliveries with his seventh boundary.

But the burly skipper went no further as Gayle found his edge and Devon Smith at first slip grasped a fine low catch to his left.

Smith could have given further setback for the Pakistanis but grassed a difficult opportunity five runs later when Younis, then on 47, slashed off the back foot.

That reprieve allowed Younis and new partner Kamal to seize the initiative in a fluent fourth-wicket stand of 117.

The pair took tea at 202 for 3 and continued to flow in the final session before a lengthy spell by Collymore changed the direction of the innings.

Crucial strike

The Barbadian made the crucial strike by removing Younis shortly after he passed three figures. The Pakistan vice captain edged a forcing back-foot stroke to gully. His knock spanned 190 balls and 258 minutes.

Kamal, too, was dismissed shortly after bringing up his half-century. Kamal, who struck seven 4s, dragged on as he tried to punch through the off side.

Shahid Afridi, following a quick-fire century in the first Test, cracked six 4s in 33 off 44 balls but Collymore deservingly grabbed his wicket. The hard-hitting Afridi was beaten several times outside off stump before finally giving a wicketkeeper's catch.

An unbroken stand of 38 between Abdul Razzaq, on 19, and Kamran Akmal, 24 with six 4s, steered Pakistan to stumps.

Akmal was caught behind off a harshly ruled Tino Best no-ball in the final overs. But the pair withstood the second new ball to leave the match evenly set. — AP

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