Selectors laud team’s efforts in Pallekele

Special praise given to Younus for ‘one of the best knocks in country’s history’.

Nabeel Hashmi July 07, 2015
Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq after clinching the third Test against Sri Lanka. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Selectors showered praise on Pakistan after a stunning show in Pallekele on Tuesday, with chief selector Haroon Rasheed saying Younus Khan had played one of the best knocks in the country’s cricketing history.

“The knock from Younus is without a doubt one of the best in Pakistan’s history,” Rasheed told The Express Tribune. “Big innings are sometimes meaningless if a team doesn’t win but he ensured that we chased down the record target. The chips were down as we lost two wickets on 13 while chasing 377, but the way Younus delivered to bring Pakistan back in the game was brilliant.”

Besides the veteran, Shaan Masood also played a major role in the win, scoring 125 and taking part in a 242-run stand with Younus for the third wicket.

Haroon commended Masood for his composure in the tough situation and for building a match-winning partnership with Younus. “Shaan showed a lot of character. Misbahul Haq also contributed with a brave knock despite suffering a hamstring injury.”

Meanwhile, junior chief selector Basit Ali hit back at former cricketers who had discarded Younus and said the country needed to look at its youngsters instead.

“This is a statement from Younus to all those who were suggesting that he is finished,” said Basit. “He has achieved what several greats haven’t by going past Don Bradman to score 30 Test centuries and he also helped us to our highest ever run-chase. He is one of the greats of Pakistan cricket.

Basit also praised wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, stating that it was his match-winning knock in the first Test that set the tone for the team.

“We played an aggressive brand of cricket thanks to Sarfraz because each time we faltered, he stood up. First he made 96 and helped us win the first Test within four days and then when everyone was dancing against pacers in the last Test, he came and smashed them for 78. I would say that Sarfraz laid the foundation for this series win and Younus finished it in style.”

The junior selector also complimented Yasir Shah, who won the man of the series award. “The bowling burden was all on Yasir Shah and he didn’t disappoint. He is certainly the lead spinner in the national team.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.

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