Galle - Veteran batsman Younis Khan hit an unbeaten 133 to steer Pakistan out
of trouble on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in
Galle on Wednesday.
The tourists, electing to bat in overcast
conditions, slumped to 56-3 before Khan's rescue act helped them recover
to 261-4 when bad light ended play two overs early at the Galle
The 36-year-old middle-order batsman, who
came to bat in his 90th Test at 19-2, hit 11 boundaries and a six in his
24th century. Only Inzamam-ul Haq (25) has more Test hundreds for
Skipper Misbah-ul Haq, making a typically dour but
determined 31, put on 100 for the fourth wicket with Khan before he was
caught behind off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
ensured the effort did not go waste as he saw off the second new ball to
help Khan add 105 for the fifth wicket, himself returning unbeaten at
close on 55.
Pakistan's coach Waqar Younis said he was delighted at the total his team was able to post after the early setbacks.
coach or captain will be proud of that," the former fast bowler said.
"It all boiled down to experience. Younis has tons of it and so does
"There was a lot of talk at home of whether Asad Shafiq
deserved to be in the side. He showed today that he belongs to the
Waqar said it was a bold decision by the team
management and the captain to bat first despite favourable overcast
conditions for the bowlers.
"With so much rain around, there is
bound to be some juice in the wicket and I thought we were very bold to
bat first. That paid off because the wicket eased up by afternoon."
Sri Lanka's coach Marvan Atapattu admitted it was hard work for the bowlers after the morning session.
moisture dried up and it became easy to bat out there," he said. "I
think we have done well to keep them down to 261, but a lot still
remains to be done.
"This is a wicket that usually plays well on the first two days, but spin is going to be a factor later in the match."
was given a reprieve by the Decision Review System (DRS) when he was on
59 after umpire Bruce Oxenford had declared him leg-before to
off-spinner Dilruwan Perera.
Television replays showed the ball pass over the stumps.
The partnership between Khan and 40-year-old Misbah came after Sri Lanka dominated the morning session with three quick wickets.
start was delayed by 30 minutes due to a wet outfield caused by
overnight rain. Bad weather has been forecast on all five days of the
Both teams went in with two spinners -- Saeed Ajmal and
Abdur Rehman for Pakistan, and Herath and Perera for the hosts -- hoping
the grassless pitch provides some turn later in the match.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is retiring from the longer
format after the two-Test series, walked out to field amid bursting
firecrackers as school children gave him a guard of honour with raised
Giant posters of the elegant batsman, who is sixth in the
all-time scorers' list with 11,671 runs in 147 Tests, adorned the Galle
International Stadium where some 2 000 home fans were present.
Pakistan 261-4 (Younus Khan 133 not out, Asad Shafiq 55 not out) v Sri Lanka.