Mathews applauds ‘unbelievable’ Younis

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has congratulated Pakistan batsman Younis Khan for becoming the first batsman from his country to score 10,000 Test runs. Younis, who will retire after the ongoing series in West Indies, scaled the milestone during the first Test against in Kingston earlier this week.

Younis has been involved in some memorable battles against the Sri Lankans over the years. The most famous of them came in 2015 at Pallekele when he starred in Pakistan’s highest-ever run chase.

Early in his captaincy, Mathews had all the reasons to believe that he had the game and the series in the bag when Sri Lanka set up a 378 target in the third Test. No team had chased as many in Sri Lanka to win a Test match, but a stunning 171 not out by Pakistan’s senior batsman turned the game upside down.

“We thought we had done enough to win that Test match. Defending 378 on a fifth day wicket, any captain would feel confident that he could win it,” said Mathews. “Younis had different plans. He started peppering us to all parts of the ground and took the game away from us. It was an unbelievable knock.

“That’s the best knock that I have seen anyone playing against us. We had them 13 for two and were sure of winning, but Younis proved us wrong. He knew when to defend and when to accelerate and it was a master class. Great example of batting when under pressure,” he added.

“He is an unbelievable player. It’s hard to forget him as he was my first Test wicket. He also had some special qualities. He is extremely down to earth and a nice human being. I admire him a lot. I congratulate him on achieving the 10,000 milestone as not many people have got there,” Mathews further said.

Younis’ debut was against Sri Lanka in 2000 in Rawalpindi, where he made a fine hundred. He was Pakistan’s captain when the Sri Lankan team bus came under an attack by armed militants in 2009 in Lahore. His career-best 313 also came against the Sri Lankans in the same series, during the first Test in Karachi. His knock, that lasted for over 12 hours on a flat pitch, prompted the then Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene to say, ‘soon, fast bowlers will become endangered species’.

Of his 116 appearances in Tests, Younis played most against Sri Lanka (29). He scored over 2200 runs against them, the most by a batsman from any country. (Courtesy Cricket buzz)