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1st Test: Younis Khan ton puts Pakistan in control against Australia

Associated Press | Updated: October 22, 2014, 8:18 PM IST
1st Test: Younis Khan ton puts Pakistan in control against Australia

Dubai: Younis Khan proved the selectors were wrong to drop him from Pakistan's limited-overs team by hitting a sedate 25th Test century on Wednesday as Pakistan reached 219 for four on the opening day of the first Test against Australia.

Younis, who had criticized the selectors for axing him from the ODI series against Australia, made 106 off 223 balls before he was trapped lbw by a sharp Mitchell Johnson (3-22) delivery with the second new ball.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, looking to regain form after losing the ODI series 3-0, was unbeaten on 34. Asad Shafiq was not out on a nervy nine and survived two confident lbw appeals against offspinner Nathan Lyon in the final over.

Younis hit 10 fours and completed his first Test hundred against Australia when he lofted Lyon over midwicket for his only six of the innings.

Younis not only equalled Inzamam-ul-Haq's Pakistan record of most centuries in Test cricket, he also became the first Pakistani to score centuries against nine other Test playing nations.

After putting on a century-stand with Ali, Younis added further 83 runs with Misbah before Johnson got the breakthrough.

Younis came in during the fourth over of the day and revived Pakistan by adding 108 runs for the third wicket with Azhar Ali (53), defying Australia for nearly 3-1/2 hours after Johnson and Peter Siddle had cut Pakistan to 7-2.

Ali, dropped on 22, made a sedate 53 off 167 balls, including six fours, before playing a loose drive off Johnson to give Australia its only wicket in the middle session. Johnson gave Australia a perfect start after Misbah had won the toss and elected to bat, snaring the recalled Mohammad Hafeez leg before wicket with his third delivery through a toe crushing yorker for zero.

Ahmed Shehzad was then brilliantly setup by Siddle before he bowled him round his legs. Both pacemen bowled with lot of aggression in their miserly spells. Younis took 13 deliveries to score his first run and was also hit on the left bicep when he tried to leave Johnson's short pitched delivery.

Ali was fortunate to escape just before lunch when Chris Rodgers dropped a low two-handed catch at point which could have given Johnson his second wicket. Pakistan struggled to 50-2 at lunch, but after the break Younis and Ali batted with authority and did not hesitate to use their feet against the spinners on a wicket devoid of any grass.

Ali reached his 16th half century in test matches off 141 balls by sweeping Lyon for his sixth boundary of the innings while Younis marked their century stand when he hit the offspinner straight for two successive boundaries.

Younis completed his fifty off 136 balls by driving Lyon for a single to midoff before Johnson struck late in the session.

Australia captain Michael Clarke used his fast bowlers in short spells. Johnson was the pick as 13 of his 20 overs were maidens and he conceded only 22 runs. He often beat the outside edges of batsmen with some impressive reverse swing bowling after lunch before removing Ali and Younis.

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh and left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe made debuts for Australia, but are still searching for a first wicket in test cricket after bowling 26 overs between them.

Mitchell Marsh is the second son of former test opener Geoff Marsh to play test cricket for Australia. His older brother, Shaun, made his debut in 2011.

Pakistan also awarded Test caps to legspinner Yasir Shah and fast bowler Imran Khan. Both impressed in Pakistan A's warm-up victory against Australia last week.

First Published: October 22, 2014, 8:18 PM IST

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