West Indies 206 Pakistan 265-4: Yousuf century helps Pakistan overhaul West Indies on second day

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The Independent Online

Middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf made his 20th test century Sunday as Pakistan strengthened its grip on the first cricket test against the West Indies after the second day.

Yousuf was unbeaten on 107 with 14 boundaries off 190 balls and Shoaib Malik was not out on 61 as Pakistan cruised to 265 for four before bad light ended the day's play 21 overs before the scheduled stumps. Poor light has so far caused the loss of 32 overs of play over the two days.

Pakistan now leads by 59 runs after the West Indies posted a first innings total of just 206 Saturday.

The West Indies bowlers struggled hard on a slow wicket as Yousuf and Malik combined for a record 125-run partnership - beating Pakistan's previous best of 115 between Asim Kamal and Shahid Afridi against the West Indies at Bridgetown last year.

"It was a totally flat wicket and it was easy to score runs on it," Yousuf said. "Pitches should have some bounce so that it could help bowlers too, like the one in Brisbane, which I think is the best test wicket."

Yousuf capitalized on a dropped catch before he completed his half century and continued his fine run of form this year that saw him score three centuries in Pakistan's four-test series in England and two in the home series against India.

"I am enjoying a good run of form and hope to maintain it in the remaining two test matches," said Yousuf, who was shortlisted for ICC's best test player of the year award which was won by Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

The right-handed Yousuf raised his hundred in four and a half hours when he flicked Jerome Taylor for his 13th boundary, before the West Indies fast bowler dropped him off the next delivery.

"I still believe that the match is wide open after two days, but we have to put in extra effort to restrict the Pakistan lead," Taylor said.

Pakistan did not lose a wicket in the last two sessions after the dismissal of captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for a duck just before lunch.

Yousuf got a break while on 43 when Daren Ganga grassed a low catch in the gully. Ten runs later, Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva did not refer a stumping appeal to the third umpire with Pakistan total at 145-4. Television replays suggested Yousuf's back foot was on the line when wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin took off the bails.

Earlier, Pakistan scored 102 runs in the morning session - thanks to an 88-run stand between Yousuf and half century-maker Mohammad Hafeez.

The West Indies hit back late in the first session when Hafeez was dismissed for 57 and left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed clean bowled Inzamam, who was out without scoring for the 15th time in his 114-test career.

Fast bowler Fidel Edwards struck in the fifth over of the day after Pakistan resumed Sunday at 39-1.

Younis Khan (11) added just one more run to his overnight score before he pulled Edwards' short pitched delivery to Ramnaresh Sarwan at short mid-wicket.

When Yousuf reached 32 with a cover driven boundary off Dwayne Bravo, he surpassed former captain Salim Malik's 5,768 test runs and became the third highest test scorer for Pakistan after Javed Miandad (8,832) and Inzamam (8,498).

Hafeez hit six boundaries and faced 147 balls before he was trapped lbw by Taylor off a full pitched delivery.

Taylor claimed two dismissals for 67, while Mohammed (1-31) and Edwards (1-64) were the other wicket-takers.