Younis Khan hit 133 not out against Sri Lanka on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. It was a knock of determination that rescued Pakistan and helped the side end the day on 261/4 at Galle, and in the process, helped Younis (7532) complete 7500 Test runs - only the fourth player from Pakistan after Javed Miandad (8832), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8829) and Mohammad Yousuf (7530). (Scorecard | Day 1 report)
Coming in to bat with Pakistan tottering on 19/2, Younis crafted his innings with maturity that has defined his cricket for over 14 years. He first anchored the innings and then snatched the advantage back from Sri Lanka, completing his 24th Test century in the process. Apart from becoming one of the highest Test scores for Pakistan, Younis also became the joint second-highest Test centurion with Mohammad Yousuf, after Inzamam-ul-Haq who hit 25 tons.
While Younis' resilient knock was a fine example of his batting skills, it also showed that he thrives in Sri Lankan conditions. His 133 on Wednesday is his highest Test score in Sri Lanka - overtaking his 116 in 2000, and his overall seven tons here is bettered only by Sachin Tendulkar who has nine centuries from 25 Tests in Sri Lanka. His innings was laced with 11 boundaries and a six.
The second day of the Test promises even more laurels for the 36-year-old. As Pakistan look to add to their overnight first innings total, Younis is just 59 runs away from becoming the only Pakistani to score 2000 or more in Tests vs Sri Lanka. And while the hosts try to come up with a plan to end the veteran's march, Younis would hope to continue his impeccable form of Day 1.
Following are more stats from Day one's play at Galle:
# Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq were involved in a stand of 100 - Pakistan's third century stand for the fourth wicket vs Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
# Overall, nine century stands have been recorded for the fourth wicket for Pakistan vs Sri Lanka in Tests.
# Asad Shafiq (55 not out) has posted his ninth Test fifty - his fourth against Sri Lanka.
# Younis and Asad were associated in an unbroken stand of 105 - Pakistan's sixth century stand for the fifth wicket vs Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in Tests.
# Rangana Herath, with 39 wickets at 35.05 runs apiece in nine Tests, is the leading wicket-taker this year in Tests.
(Stats by Rajesh Kumar)