Younis Khan's 7 greatest knocks in Test Cricket

Younis Khan Australia
Younis Khan will go down as one of the greates to have played the game

Younis Khan – unassuming, irrepressible, irreplaceable – is one of the last standing bastions of Test cricket’s previous generation. He is from a different world, though he rarely struts his stuff. He is pushing 40, though he rarely breaks a sweat during his mammoth knocks.

He has seen so much, though he rarely lets that show on players who were toddlers when he made his debut. Younis Khan knows how to bat and he keeps doing it with much élan, weathering controversies, not of his creation, chaos not of his creation and perpetual disappointments of a fickle-minded Board not of his creation. He makes comebacks and it is virtually impossible to make this colossal of Pakistan cricket go away silently. He will not.

Now his place in the cricketing folklore is safe, his legacy etched in stone, thanks to that 175* at the Sydney Cricket Ground which made him the first player to score tons in 11 different countries. In short, he is the master of everything he has surveyed. Here, we turn the clock and look at 7 of Khan’s top Test tons, a difficult job considering he has scored 34 of them.

He even holds the record for most number of 4th innings centuries – 5 – to add to his 7 3rd innings centuries, a total of 12 in the second innings of a team, fourth highest in Test cricket. Mind you, his triple century didn’t make it to the list, as it came on one of the most insipid Test pitches ever and other knocks deserved a greater applause.

#1 267 v India, Bangalore, 2005

Younis Khan Bangalore 2005
Younis Khan was in emperious mood in the Garden City

Beating India in India is never easy but Younis Khan scripted one of Pakistan’s most famous victories against their arch-rivals with a massive knock at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Khan was joined by Inzamam-ul-Haq when Pakistan were 7 for 2 and the duo added 324 for the third wicket. Pakistan eventually amassed 570, Inzamam falling on 184 and Mohammad Yousuf’s 37 being the third highest individual score. In reply, India made 449 thanks to a Virender Sehwag double century.

Younis shone again in the second innings scoring an unbeaten 84* as Pakistan declared after blasting 261 in just 50 overs, thanks to Younis’ 98 ball knock. Chasing 383 in the final innings, India crumbled to a defeat, all out for 214 in 90 overs. Khan picked up Player of the Match!

#2 171* v Sri Lanka, Pallekele, 2015

Younis Khan Pallekele
Younis Khan’s century in the fourth innnings was a testament to his class

This would go down as one of the highlights of Younis Khan’s career. Scoring centuries in the fourth innings on a sub-continent pitch is never easy. But Khan was the architect of an epic chase by Pakistan. Sri Lanka batted first and scored just 278, but Pakistan conceded a lead thanks to a poor performance. All out for 215, they had a 377-run target in their second innings. Younis walked into the crease with Pakistan on 13 for 2.

He added 242 for the third wicket with opener Shan Masood, a youngster Younis shepherded en route the former’s impressive knock of 125. After Masood’s dismissal, Younis added another 127* with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who was unbeaten on 59* as the duo took Pakistan to 382 winning the match by seven wickets.

#3 218 v England, Kennington Oval, 2016

Younis Khan Kennington Oval 2016
Younis Khan showed true grit in tough conditions

A double ton away from home is always special. That it came in England makes it even more special. In one of Pakistan’s best away tours in a decade, Younis Khan anchored a mammoth score of 542 batting at no.5 in response to England’s 328. Younis added 150 for the fourth wicket with Asad Shafiq (109), 77 for the seventh wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed (44) and then a phenomenal 97 for the ninth wicket with Mohammad Amir.

England could only score 253 in their second innings, leaving Pakistan to chase down just 40 runs in the final innings which they did without losing any wickets. Pakistan drew the series 2-2, coming from behind, thanks to this memorable Younis double, his 218 coming off 308 deliveries with 31 fours and four sixes against a bowling attack that had James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.

#4 106 v Australia, Dubai, 2014

Younis Khan Dubai 2014
The elegance of Younis Khan in full show

Match-winning knocks against Australia are always special especially when they come in a crisis. In the first Test of the series, Pakistan were 7 for 2 when Younis walked in to the crease. He added 108 with Azhar Ali and another 83 with Misbah-ul-Haq to steer his team to safety as Pakistan posted 454. Younis was not done with Australia yet. Australia were all out for 303 and Younis rubbed it in further by scoring another century in the second innings, 103* in 152 balls to add 168 for the third wicket with Ahmed Shehzad (131). Pakistan declared on 286 for 2 setting Australia a target of 438.

The latter were all-out for just 216 giving Pakistan a massive 221-run victory. Needless to mention, Younis was the Player of the Match. This was also the only occasion in his batting career when he scored a century in both innings of a Test match, although he came close to doing that many a time.

#5 107 v Sri Lanka, Rawalpindi, 2000

Younis Khan Rawalpindi 2000
Younis Khan at gave Pakistan a chance with his superb display in the second innings

Younis started his career with a bang scoring a century on debut and that too, in the second innings. In a thrilling contest, Pakistan were all out for 182 in their first innings conceding a 171-run deficit to Sri Lanka as the latter scored 353. In the second innings, Younis came to the party scoring 107 batting at No.7. He was the last player to be dismissed having added a whopping 145 runs for the ninth wicket with Wasim Akram, who scored 79.

That added respectability to the Pakistan total as they managed to set a sizable fourth innings target for Sri Lanka – 220. Although Sri Lanka chased it down in the 84th over, they lost 8 wickets and made it home only thanks to a 43-run ninth wicket partnership between Arjuna Ranatunga and Romesh Kaluwitharana, after the Sri Lankan skipper Ranatunga returned having left the field earlier retired hurt when the score was on 146.

#6 149* v New Zealand, Auckland, 2001

Younis Khan Auckland 2001
A Test to remember for Younis Khan

This was another brilliant away performance from Younis Khan against a reasonably strong New Zealand contingent. Pakistan managed 346 in their first innings, Younis top-scoring with 91. New Zealand were all out for 252. In the second innings, Younis batting at No.6 smashed an unbeaten 149* off just 182 balls to take them to 336, thanks to a 147-run sixth wicket partnership with Faisal Iqbal (52*).

Set a target of 431, New Zealand were all out for a paltry 131. Although it was Mohammad Sami who won the Player of the Match, it must be noted that the next highest score in either innings, after the two Younis Khan knocks was Imran Farhat’s 63.

#7 200* v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2013

Younis Khan Harare 2003
Younis Khan’s unbeaten double century set Pakistan up for the win

Pakistan were hurtling towards an embarrassing defeat against Zimbabwe if not for Younis Khan’s timely intervention. Batting first, they scored only 249 and ended up conceding a 78-run deficit after Zimbabwe scored 327 in their first innings. Pakistan were in a spot of bother at 23 for 3 in their second innings.

However, Younis Khan played 404 balls for his unbeaten 200* adding 116 with Misbah-ul-Haq for the fourth wicket, 118 for the sixth wicket with Adnan Akmal and a stupendous 88 run tenth wicket partnership with Rahat Ali, which came in just 95 balls. Set a target of 342, Zimbabwe capitulated to 120 all out. However, the margin of defeat barely betrays the kind of trouble Pakistan were in and would have been in if not for Younis Khan’s impressive double ton!

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Edited by Staff Editor
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