Misbah, Smith praise Younus for “fighting knock” that helped draw first Pak-SA Test

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and his South African counterpart, Graeme Smith, have hailed Younus Khan’s brilliant hundred which helped Pakistan salvage a fighting draw in the first Test on Tuesday.

“Younus is a world class player and he proved his worth with a fighting knock… The result is a gift for the fans back home celebrating Eid,” the ICC website quoted Misbah, as saying.

“He (Younus) is a wonderful team man and his knock helped us draw this Test, also giving us the boost in confidence for the next Test,” the Pakistan skipper said of the final Test starting in Abu Dhabi from November 20.

On the fifth day of the Test match, Pakistan resumed on 109-2 and needed to bat out 90 overs. 32-year-old Younus came to his team’s rescue, as he remained unbeaten on 131 to guide Pakistan to safety on the final day at the Dubai Stadium.

“We knew it’s going to be tough, but we remained positive and to our advantage there was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers,” said Misbah of the track at the Dubai Stadium, hosting a Test for the first time.

With little support from the pitch, the Proteas were also sloppy in the field, dropping three catches- two off Younus and one off Misbah- which skipper Smith regretted.

“Unfortunately, we missed a few chances which probably put us on the backfoot. Once Younus Khan especially got in, he batted superbly well. Credit to him for his knock,” said Smith, referring to Younus’ hundred- his 17th in Tests.

“I guess we are a little bit disappointed we couldn’t close it off, but it was always going to be a big push I think. The wicket got a lot slower as the game went on and we knew it would be tough to get them out,” he added.

However, the South African skipper refused to criticise the pitch. “I think the wicket, for the groundsman and everybody, was a bit of an unknown thing, how it would play. We even chatted with the groundsman and even he wasn’t sure how it would play over five days,” he said.

“It just seemed to get slower and more difficult for bowlers to get response out of it. I think once a batter got settled and got used to the pace of the wicket. Hopefully there will be more on offer for the bowlers in Abu Dhabi,” Smith added. (ANI)

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