Here, we will have a look at the 5 best inningsof Mohammad Yousuf. Pakistan havemanaged to carve an identity for themselvesin the world of cricket.Legends like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad are respected around the globe forthe suave manner in which they pursued this sport and, at the same time, for the way theyinspired others to perform at their best. Yousuf made his debut on February 26, 1998. From there on, he isregarded as one of the most classy, consistent and reliable batsmen in Pakistan cricketing history.
#5 117 v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Lahore, 2007/2008
At a precarious situation of 27-2 in 9.3 overs, Yousuf opened up his bat to drive a delivery through the covers for a boundary, and that shot started a precision perfect demolition of the South African team.
Classical playing at his best, his prolificacy on the off-side was for everyone to see as he never hit any shot with power. They were just placed or caressed through. Lightning between the wickets, he also picked up the gaps with ease. His fine shots on the leg side can’t be overlooked, too.
Pushing the run-rate to 5.23 runs per over, Yusuf finally perished but not before he had done his part for the team. South Africa were beaten.
#4 111 v Australia, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 2004
Winning the toss, Pakistan had elected to bat first, and it proved to be an amazing decision by Yousuf, who had become the country’s first Christian-captain.
He led the team by example, scoring a brilliant 111 off 134 balls, and, with Younis Khan, broke the fourth-wicket partnership record against Australia, sharing a 192-run stand between them. Three of the four sixes that he hit were off the legendary spinner Shane Warne.
Though Pakistan lost the match in the end, his innings was extremely important to the total of 341 that Pakistan posted in the first innings.
#3 v England, 3rd Test, Lahore, 2005
Yousuf, now an Islam convert, was unstoppable against England in the match. He played 10 hours and 23 minutes for his 223 and became the first person to score double centuries in Tests under different names (Yousuf Youhana and Mohammad Yousuf).
His miraculous knock was the foundation for Inzamam-ul-Haq to take over and lead Pakistan to a memorable win of an innings and 100 runs.
#2 100* v India, 5th ODI, Asia Cup, Dhaka, 2000
Yousuf was in a rich vein of form in the year 2000 delivering match-winning performances one after the other.
This one was no less. Pakistan opening batsmen were running riot, smashing the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. But it was brought to a halt when Saeed Anwar and Imran Nazir went back to the pavillion in quick succession. The scoreboard was at 74.
But Yousuf went about his business patiently, not allowing the Indian bowlers to take advantage of the twin breakthroughs. His first 50 came off 90 balls, but the second 50 that followed, after Shahid Afridi joined him, was completed in merely 23 balls.
Strokes filled with angled perfection, he kept rotating the strike and never let the loose balls go waste. He scored his hundred with a six off the last ball of the match. Pakistan posted 295 on the board and, ultimately, registered an easy victory over the Indians by 44 runs.
#1 124 v England, 1st Test, Lahore, 2000
England were extremely close to starting off the series with a win at Pakistan’s home soil as they brought their opponents to a situation from where a follow-on looked imminent.
Yousuf came into the crease when Pakistan were 199-3 and subsequently saw his fellow batsmen going down like skittles. With Yousuf on 37, in came Saqlain Mushtaq at No. 10 to help his partner build one fine innings of 124. An innings filled with mental toughness and, after Saqlain’s arrival, aggressive shots, Yousuf was on a mission to give a respectable result against the Englishmen.
The 127-run stand that ensued with Saqlain was one of the key reasons for Pakistan drawing the match. A truly memorable innings.