The day that slipped away from England

Yousuf's unbeaten 185 answers Pakistan's prayers on a long day at Lord's for Strauss

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore