The day that slipped away from England
Yousuf's unbeaten 185 answers Pakistan's prayers on a long day at Lord's for Strauss
Sunday 16 July 2006
England's cricketers assumed the sporting centre stage for the first time this summer yesterday. If the occasion demanded a tour de force performance it was delivered not by the home side but by Mohammad Yousuf's sumptuous innings for Pakistan.
His unbeaten 185 occupied the entire day and sustained the tourists' chances of earning a draw in the First Test of the four-match series. That is the most probable outcome, since Yousuf was showing no indication of departing the crease and England were always likely to be up against it with only four specialist bowlers.
Pakistan finished the day on 409 for 7, only the second time they have made 400 in a Test match at Lord's. That still left them 119 runs adrift of England, but equally Andrew Strauss's team have to find a way of taking 13 more wickets while still keeping daylight between the sides.
England needed each one of their 528 runs and there were times when Strauss's decision to declare with nine wickets down looked decidedly reckless.
Yousuf's recent form has been startling and he puts it down almost wholly to his decision to convert from Christianity to Islam last year. His average before was pretty good at 47. Since then it is 97.
"I thank Allah every time I play," he said. "It has changed my life and made me a more disciplined person."
Yousuf explained that he still manages to pray five times a day, even during Test matches, and does so at 4.30am, during the tea interval, immediately after play, at 9.30pm and 10.45pm.
He kissed the Lord's turf upon reaching his hundred and may be doing so again at least once in this match. Yousuf shared a long fifth-wicket partnership with his captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who made 69.
Robin van Persie to Lekhwiya: Manchester United striker linked with switch to join Michael Laudrup in Qatar
Sam Allardyce sacked -Newcastle survive - Hull relegated - LIVE: Premier League reaction to Walcott hat-trick, Liverpool defeat, Steven Gerrard goal
Jules Bianchi update: Ex-Marussia driver in a 'stagnant' condition as he continues to fight for his life after F1 crash
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal turns to Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi after Mats Hummels delay
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland