Yousuf record puts Pak on topNeil Pickup |
Mohammad Yousuf’s ninth Test century of 2006 all but sealed series victory for Pakistan against the West Indies in Karachi.
With the previous record of seven Test centuries in a year already consigned to the second rung of the history books, the target for the batsman formerly known as Yousuf Youhana was Viv Richards’ mark of 1710 runs, set in 1976 and hitherto never threatened.
Resuming overnight on just one, Yousuf needed 47 to overhaul Richards’ mark – and did so untroubled, caressing Corey Collymore to the midwicket boundary to surpass the great West Indian’s tally. With Mohammad Hafeez contributing another century, albeit less fluent than his team mate’s, Pakistan added 149 for the third wicket and 94 for the fourth to push the match – and the series – beyond the tourists’ reach.
When Yousuf finally fell for 124 – taking his annual record to 1788 runs – Pakistan took six more overs to extend their own score to 399, and their lead to 443, before striking twice before stumps with the new ball.
Both West Indian openers fell for two, Chris Gayle chopping Umar Gul onto his own stumps and Shahid Nazir pinning Daren Ganga LBW, before Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan reached stumps unbeaten.
Ahead of tomorrow’s final day, the West Indies need another 405 runs to win the match – or, more realistically, to bat the day and save the game. Whether or not the home side ultimately save the game, the final Test of Pakistan’s 2006 has been a triumph for the home side, and particularly Mohammad Yousuf. All that remains for the batsman is now to become the first man since Bradman to score centuries in six consecutive Tests… now that would be a record to break.
Mohammad Yousuf 102, Imran Farhat 47
Corey Collymore 3-57, Dwayne Bravo 2-33
West Indies 260
Daren Ganga 81, Denesh Ramdin 50
Umar Gul 4-79, Danish Kaneria 3-62
Pakistan 399-6 dec
Mohammad Yousuf 124, Mohammad Hafeez 104
Ramnaresh Sarwan 2-70, Chris Gayle 1-38
West Indies 39-2
Brian Lara 18*, Ramnaresh Sarwan 11*
Shahid Nazir 1-9, Umar Gul 1-25