Yousuf century puts Pakistan in box seat
by AFP

Ground:Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth
Scorecard:Pakistan v West Indies
Player:Mohammad Yousuf, BC Lara, RD King
Event:VB Series 2004/05

DateLine: 1st February 2005


Pakistan set the West Indies a massive run-chase in their do-or-die tri-series one-day international at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground, belting 307 for 8 from 50 overs here.


With the winner of the match earning the right to play Australia in the best-of-three finals series starting on Friday, the West Indies missed several opportunities to put Pakistan under pressure on Tuesday.


Instead they paid a heavy price after failing to capitalise on two-clear run out chances in the 17th and 20th overs which could have seen top-scorer Yousuf Youhana dismissed cheaply.


Instead Yousuf went on to clock a brilliant 105 off 100 balls and together with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who made 74, the pair set their team on the road to a big score with a 134-run parnership for the fourth wicket.


It could have been a different story with Yousuf involved in both run-out mix ups.


In the first, he escaped while on seven after taking off for a run while Yasir Hameed stood his ground. He was saved when he appeared to knock the ball away from bowler Reon King with his foot as the latter swooped to pick up for a shy at the stumps.


In the second incident, he escaped while on 15 after both Ricardo Powell and Dwayne Bravo both missed with throws at the stumps.


Once again big-hitting Shahid Afridi also contributed for Pakistan with his usual flair, belting 23 runs off 10 balls, including two sixes before being bowled by quick Ian Bradshaw.


The Pakistan performance came hard on the heels of their impressive three-wicket win over the previously unbeaten Australians at the same venue on Sunday.


They started sluggishly with both openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal reflecting the importance of the match with a cautious approach.


But the move did not pay off, with Salman the first to fall, caught behind off Bradshaw for a tedious 19 runs off 43 deliveries in the 12th over.


At 37 for one, Pakistan continued to show respect to the bowling but it wasn't long before Bradshaw struck again.


This time the victim was Kamran, back in the side for Younis Khan who rushed home on Sunday following the death of his father.


He got hold of a delivery down the leg side but it was caught beautifully by Dwayne Bravo at square leg, who jumped high into the air to pluck the ball from above his head.


Like Salman, Kamran's innings had been slow, yielding just 17 runs from 36 balls and the dismissal left Pakistan at 44 for 2 in the 14th over.


With Yasir Hameed bowled by Reon King for 24 and Pakistan at 90 for 3, Inzamam and Yousuf glued the innings together with a solid stand which carried them to 224 before the captain was bowled by a slower delivery from Bravo.

Abdul Razzaq, man of the match against Australia, couldn't reproduce the form and was out, stumped by Courtney Browne for seven soon after leaving Pakistan at 248 for 5 when Afridi came in.


Pace bowler Ian Bradshaw was the pick of the West Indian attack taking 3-47 off his 10 overs.


Windies captain Brian Lara had won the toss and elected to chase Pakistan, stating a moist wicket which was likely to produce swing later in the day as his reason.


The Windies came into the match with niggling injuries to key strike bowler Pedro Collins, batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and Lara himself.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)