Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews has effusively praised Younis Khan for becoming the first batsman from Pakistan in Tests to cross 10,000-run landmark which he had achieved against the West Indies, in the first Test at Kingston in Jamaica.
“I congratulate him on achieving the 10,000 milestone as not many people have got there,” Mathews was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
The 39-year-old Pakistan stalwart Younis, who scored 58 and 6 in the first Test, is scheduled to retire from international cricket after the conclusion of three-match Test series, on the Caribbean shores.
“He [Younis] 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,” Mathews asserted.
The 29-year-old Colombo-born Mathews has recalled the significant knock of Younis in 2015, when he scored unbeaten 171 runs, in a bid to help Pakistan to register their highest-ever run chase in Test cricket at Pallekele before wrapping the three-match series 2-1.
“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,” Mathews said.
With Mathews enjoying the role of captaincy, he would’ve had believed the target of 378 was enough against Pakistan side did not have enough success on its back when it comes to chasing totals, in any format of the cricket.
“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,” Mathews revealed.
However, while showcasing his courage and exceptional experience on his back, Younis alongside skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq guided team home by seven wickets after reeling at two for 13.
“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,” Mathews added.
After making his Test in debut in 2000 against Sri Lanka, Younis smashed hundred while coming to bat at number seven position on his debut at Rawalpindi.
In 29 Test appearances against Sri Lanka, Younis amassed 2,286 runs at an average of 51.95 which further included eight hundreds and six fifties. His Test-best 313 also came against Lanka at Karachi in 2009.