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Younis ton puts Pak in driver's seat

Associated Press
Feb 04, 2012 at 07:26pm IST

Dubai: Former captain Younis Khan scored the first century of the series and propelled Pakistan to 222-2 against England in the third and final Test on Saturday.

Khan grafted an unbeaten 115 off 195 balls and youngster Azhar Ali was 75 not out off 246 deliveries as Pakistan finished the second day with a productive overall lead of 180 runs.

The pair advanced Pakistan's bid to record their first ever clean sweep against England after winning the first two Tests comprehensively.

Younis ton puts Pak in driver's seat

Younis Khan made an unbeaten 115 to take Pakistan to 222/2 at stumps on day two against England.

Khan and Ali batted fluently for more than four hours, a remarkable turnaround on a wicket that saw Pakistan bowled out for 99 and England also struggling to 104-6 on the first day.

Khan was under pressure after scoring only 66 in the previous five innings, but regained his touch and never looked to be in trouble against either spinners or seamers.

Ali, who scored a half-century in Pakistan's last Test win at Abu Dhabi last week, played the supporting role well in hitting three boundaries and a six.

Both Pakistan batsmen were patient, waiting for loose deliveries, and put on 90 runs in the second session before adding a further 102 after tea.

Khan reached his half-century before tea off 106 balls but attacked in the last session and raised his 20th Test hundred off the next 60 deliveries when he swept Graeme Swann to square leg and scampered for two runs. He has hit 11 fours and also lofted Swann over midwicket for a six.

Indian legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev were among the spectators who gave Khan a standing ovation before he was embraced by Ali.

England came close to breaking the 194-run stand late in the day, but Swann's lbw television referral against Ali was turned down just before the close as the replays showed the ball would have gone over the stumps.

Earlier, England's search for a sizeable lead was curtailed once Abdur Rehman clean bowled James Anderson in the first over of the morning after the touring side resumed on 104-6.

Captain Andrew Strauss hit a gritty 56 off 150 balls in more than three and a half hours before he was foxed by Rehman's flighted delivery and was stumped.

Stuart Broad fell lbw to Saeed Ajmal, who brought an end to the innings when Rehman took a catch in the deep to dismiss Swann (16) as England settled for 141 in its first innings.

Leftarm spinner Rehman took 5-40 — his second five-wicket haul of the series — and offspinner Ajmal stretched his wickets tally in the three-match series to 20 with 3-59.

Anderson had provided England with hope when he lured lefthanded Taufeeq Umar to play an expansive drive that flew to Strauss in the slips after Pakistan bowled out England inside the first hour of the day.

Mohammad Hafeez (21) lofted Monty Panesar for a straight six and then hit a square cut boundary before he lost his concentration and was trapped lbw by the leftarm spinner in an attempt to play a needless sweep shot.

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