Younis guides Pakistan to 358-4 at lunch

February 24th, 2009 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 24 (IANS) Skipper Younis Khan continued to lead from the front as Pakistan inched towards safety in their first cricket Test against Sri Lanka reaching 358-4 by lunch on the fourth day here.

The hosts seemed to be having an easy ride in the first session but pacer Dilhara Fernando spoilt it a bit by trapping Misbah-ul-Haq leg before in the second last over before lunch.

Younis, who resumed his innings at 149 in the morning added 29 more to his personal total to move to 178 at lunch. Comeback middle-order batsman Faisal Iqbal was the other batsman at the crease, yet to open his account after facing four Muttiah Muralitharan deliveries.

Pakistan’s hopes continue to rest on their captain whose unbeaten 178 has come from 363 balls with 20 boundaries. Together with Misbah, Younis put on 138 runs for the fourth wicket - the second biggest stand of this innings after the skipper’s third-wicket partnership with Shoaib Malik that added 149 to the total.

Pakistan resumed the day at 296-3, still needing 149 to save the follow-on. They played at a snail’s pace and added just 62 runs to the overnight total from 28 overs.

Younis, who is looking for a double hundred, was in no hurry as he remained switched to the defensive mode and now Pakistan need just 87 more runs to avoid the follow-on, something that will almost ensure they don’t lose the Test.

Misbah’s wicket was the only setback suffered by Pakistan on the fourth morning.

Misbah’s patient 42 came after almost a four-and-a-half hour stay at the wicket in which he faced 153 balls. He hit three fours and the only six of the Test so far.

Fernando’s wicket is the first strike by a pacer since the first session when Pakistan medium fast bowlers Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat picked up the Sri Lankan openers.

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