Pakistan's Yousuf unlucky to miss century

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007, 19:58 [IST]
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Mohammad Yousuf cracked an impressive 99 not out under pressure to help Pakistan reach a competitive 255-6 in the crucial fourth one-day international against India here on Thursday.

The middle-order batsman needed nine off the last two balls to complete his 14th hundred but did not quite manage it, hitting a six and a two off left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh in the day-night game.

Yousuf was involved in two fruitful stands to sustain his team's hopes of squaring the series, adding 51 for the third wicket with vice-captain Younis Khan (68) and 94 for the fifth with Misbah-ul-Haq (40).

Pakistan trail 2-1 in the five-match series, with the last game to be played in Jaipur on Sunday.

Younis steadied the innings with his 29th half-century after the second-ball dismissal of left-handed opener Salman Butt, who scored a hundred in the previous game at Kanpur.

Yousuf then did well to keep his end intact to help Pakistan cross the 250-mark. He did the bulk of scoring in the closing stages as 77 came in the last 10 overs. He hit two sixes and seven fours in his well-paced innings.

Skipper Shoaib Malik (31), opening the innings for the first time in the series, put on 78 for the second wicket with Younis before becoming Indian left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan's 200th victim in one-day internationals.

Younis offered two chances in his 89-ball knock. He was on six when dropped by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off seamer Irfan Pathan and on 48 when he survived a stumping chance off spinner Harbhajan Singh.

India hardly felt the absence of a fifth specialist bowler as part-timers Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag conceded 52 in their combined 10 overs.

Left-arm spinner Yuvraj got a vital wicket when he held a return catch to dismiss Younis just when the Pakistani batsman had threatened to dominate the Indian attack.

Seamer Ganguly also chipped in when he trapped hard-hitting Shahid Afridi leg-before for his 100th wicket in 311 one-day internationals.

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