Pakistan were determined in their batting on day one of the first Test against Australia in Dubai on Wednesday, recording 219 for four by stumps thanks to a belligerent century from veteran Younis Khan.
After falling out with the PCB and nearly giving up his Test spot recently, Younis turned the other cheek and rescued his side after they were two down for just seven, and scored his first ton against the Aussies.
This made him the first Pakistani to bag a ton against all the Test playing sides, and only the 12th such batsman overall. He also became Pakistan’s highest century maker alongside Inzamam-ul-Haq, both on 25.
The day began with Pakistan winning the toss and opting to bat first. The Aussies handed debuts to Mitchell Marsh and Steve O’Keefe, while Pakistan gave new caps to Imran Khan and Yasir Shah.
Pakistan got off to a dire start as Mitchell Johnson trapped Mohammad Hafeez in front in the first over for a duck. The opener reviewed it, but it was a daft call as the ball had struck him full on the boot, back in his crease.
Peter Siddle got into the action soon afterwards, bowling Ahmed Shehzad for three, leaving the hosts on seven for two. As such, Younis and Azhar Ali had it all to do, and blocked until lunch, the score 50/2.
The afternoon saw Younis and Ali continue their good work, even though the heat made the going tough for everyone. They pushed their partnership to 108, at a rate of just over two, before Ali was sent packing just before tea.
The final session was about Younis’s ton, and he was ably assisted by long-time colleague Misbah-ul-Haq, who then also had a task to take the side to stumps. Younis was eventually out for 106, LBW to Johnson.
At the close, Misbah was on 34 off 103 balls, while Asad Shafiq had advanced to nine.
Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan