Yousuf, Manzoor consolidate for Pakistan
by AFP

Ground:Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Player:MTT Mirando, WPUJC Vaas, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Yousuf
Event:Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009

DateLine: 20th July 2009


Mohammad Yousuf and Khurram Manzoor put on 150 for the third wicket to lift the gloom over Pakistan on the opening day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka here on Monday.


Pakistan, sent in to bat in overcast conditions by Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, recovered from a shaky 34-2 to post 187 without further loss by tea on the first day at the Sinhalese sports club.


Yousuf and Manzoor, who came together after left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara had grabbed two wickets in four balls within the first hour of play, batted through the post-lunch session.


Yousuf, who turns 35 next month, showed class and the experience of 82 Tests while making a fluent unbeaten 76 with the help of six boundaries and a six.


Manzoor, a 23-year-old from Karachi playing in his fifth Test, moved to 86 with nine fours and will resume after tea well-placed to record his maiden Test century.


The duo defied Sri Lanka's four-man pace attack, that included the retiring Chaminda Vaas, on a barren wicket that appeared full of runs.


Pakistan are looking to deny Sri Lanka a clean sweep of the series after losing the first Test in Galle before lunch on the fourth morning and the second at the P. Sara Oval here in three days.


Openers Fawad Alam and Manzoor had put on 34 within the first hour when Thushara struck in his third over after replacing Nuwan Kulasekera.


Left-handed Alam, who hit a brilliant 168 on debut in the previous Test, made 16 when he edged Thushara to wicket-keeper Tillakaratne Dilshan.


Three balls later, Pakistan captain Younus Khan chopped a delivery wide of the off-stump on to his stumps after making two.


Yousuf hit the best shot of the morning session when he stepped out and lofted left-arm spinner Rangana Herath over the long-on fence for six.


Later, he punched the same bowler off the backfoot to the point fence.


Mansoor, who was 42 at lunch, reached his half-century in the first over after the break by smashing Thushara to the point boundary off successive deliveries.


Yousuf, who hit a century in the first Test in Galle, surpassed his 29th half-century soon after.


Vaas, who announced his retirement from the five-day game after the series on Sunday, replaced spinner Ajantha Mendis after being overlooked for the first two matches.


Pakistan also made one change, bringing in seasoned leg-spinner Danish Kaneria in place of seamer Abdur Rauf.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)