SPORT

Younis silences his critics

KOLKATA, MARCH 17. He was under tremendous pressure to perform after an eminently forgettable outing in the first Test at Mohali. Pakistan's vice-captain Mohammad Younis Khan silenced his critics on Thursday with a majestic unbeaten century — his first against India, at the Eden Gardens here.

"I was indeed under pressure after a dismal performance in the last Test. I was determined to do well and went out with a positive frame of mind. I am very happy not only to score a century but to guide my team to a good total at the end of the day,'' the dashing right-handed batsmen opined to newsmen after the day's play.

Leading the Pakistani fight back along with Khan was former vice-captain of the side, Yousuf Youhana. He too smashed an unbeaten 101, his 13th century and the duo put on a record partnership for the third wicket.

"I thank the almighty for the hundred. Otherwise there is no special feeling for scoring the hundred," he informed the media.

"I think we both played very positively and it paid rich dividend.''

Youhana felt the Pakistan team's first target was to reach the mark of 400.

"We will decide our next step only after overhauling India's first innings total,'' he said.

Younis Khan said he and Youhana enjoyed a good understanding and this enabled them to take as many singles as possible to upset the Indian's team's rhythm.

"Not that the Indians bowled badly. Rather we both played positively,'' he opined.

Youhana cited the their partnership against Australia at Melbourne earlier this year as a guiding force in today's association.

"We had a big partnership at Melbourne and it helped us a lot,'' he said.

50-50 chance

The vice-captain felt that the match was poised at 50-50.

"Only at the end of the third day on Friday will one know what course this match will take,'' he said and added that Pakistan was on a firm saddle and the two would try and wrest the initiative on the third day.

The former vice-captain informed that the pitch was good for batting. To a question he said the opening batsmen gave a good start on which he and Younis Khan based the riposte of Pakistan.

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