Malik scores century but overshadowed by 37-year-old becoming Pakistan’s top run-getter
Younus Khan became Pakistan’s all-time leading run-scorer on day one of the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi, outshining Shoaib Malik, who hit a fighting hundred to cap an impressive Test return after five years.
Malik was unbeaten on 124 for his third Test hundred to guide Pakistan to 286-4 at close on the opening day at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Malik added an invaluable 168 for the second wicket with opener Mohammad Hafeez who missed out on his century by just two runs after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch which is expected to turn more with each passing day.
Read: Younis becomes Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in Test cricket
Malik, who has been averaging 100 in ODI cricket this year, has so far hit 14 boundaries in his 230-ball knock.
The highlight of the day though was Younus coming down the track and lofting Moeen Ali over mid-wicket to cross Javed Miandad’s record tally of 8,832 Test runs in style. It has taken Younus, who was dismissed on 38 by England pacer Stuart Broad, just 102 Tests to cross Miandad’s tally, who played 124 Tests.
England’s attack struggled for wickets under hot conditions, bowling some loose deliveries coupled with two dropped catches by Ian Bell, both off James Anderson.
It was Anderson who gave England an early breakthrough when he dismissed Shan Masood for two in bizarre manner, with the left-handed opener taking his eyes off a bouncer. The ball hit the grill of his helmet before crashing onto the stumps.
Read: Younis poised to pass ‘legend’ Miandad’s Pakistan run record
Hafeez and Malik then steadied the innings and batted with resolve. The opener hit 13 boundaries during his 170-ball knock before he tried to play on the leg-side in an attempt to reach his ninth Test hundred, only to walk too far across and be hit in front of middle by Ben Stokes. He challenged Australian umpire Paul Rieffel’s decision but to no avail.
Anderson, who took 2-29, was unlucky not to account for Hafeez earlier on as Bell dropped a regulation catch at second slip when Hafeez was batting on seven.
The 34-year-old took full advantage of the lapse and at 26 hit leg-spinner Adil Rashid to the point boundary to reach 3,000 runs in his 45th Test. He is the 17th Pakistani batsmen to score 3,000 or more runs in Tests.
Read: Misbah, Younus earned the right to choose when to retire Wasim Akram
Malik also had a reprieve when he was caught at gully off Broad on 40, only to see the umpire signalling a no-ball.
Broad then dismissed Younus with a miscued drive, which was well taken by Alastair Cook at an unusual position; close to the non-striker end’s umpire.
Skipper Misbahul Haq became Anderson’s 415th Test wicket when he was adjudged caught behind after England players reviewed the umpire’s decision of not out, taking the Lancashire man to 10th in the list of Test wicket-takers.
England’s misery was completed when Shafiq was also dropped by Bell at ten, spilling an easy catch off Anderson.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2015.
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