Ace Pakistan middle order batsman Younis Khan said Pakistan are on the way to give the nation an Independence Day gift on Sunday (14 August) with a victory in the fourth Test at Kennington Oval after his double ton which left the host team in trouble.
Today, on 14th August Pakistan marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of Pakistan. It could also well be the day that Pakistan ends their four-match series with England all square at 2-2.
Younis’s magnum opus helped Pakistan to put a score of 542 on board. Yasir Shah, the leg spinner, then took three wickets conceding 15 runs and fast bowler Wahab Riaz took one wicket that left the host England on 88 for 4 in their second innings and trail by 126 runs.
The right-handed veteran batsman said victory in South London would be especially sweet. “Yes, it would be great and a gift to the nation if we win tomorrow (Sunday),” he told reporters after stumps on Saturday.
“We have them four down, so we hope that the victory can be achieved on Independence Day. We had talked about this before the match.”
This was Younis’ sixth double ton in his career. This series before this double ton his total score was 122 runs in six previous innings with a highest of 33.
Younis’ form once again led to speculation that, at 38, his time in international cricket was coming to an end. Not that this was news to Younis.
“A lot of people had started saying that my career is going to finish,” he said. “I have been hearing this for some 15 years now, but I am happy and did the hard work. I knew it would come, but I desperately wanted it to come in this Test.”
He was asked where this innings will rank in his 32 Test centuries, Younis said, “It must be at the top. We needed to win this Test so we needed a big innings and I am happy that I have done that.”
Meanwhile, Asad Shafiq had done following his fine 109 on Friday, Younis dedicated his innings to Hanif Mohammad, the Pakistan batting great who died aged 81 on Thursday.
“I want to dedicate this knock to Hanif Mohammad,” said Younis. “He was always an inspiration to us and we are going to miss him.
“He had a great influence on my career and was always ready to give advice,” he added after a more than a seven-and-a-half hour double century that Hanif, known for his lengthy innings, would surely have appreciated.