Younis Khan – 148 v Bangladesh at Mirpur
Ah, the old warrior, fresh from missing out in the runfest at Khulna, has cashed in today with a 148 in the second test. This was his 29th test hundred, made in his 98th test match, and he continues an exemplary conversion rate which means when he reaches 50, he makes it to 100 every other time. This is his 12th highest test century, not even half way to his career best of 313 against Sri Lanka in 2009 in Karachi.
This is Younis’s third test ton against Bangladesh, with the other two both coming in Chittagong, where he made 200* in 2011, and 119 as long ago as 2002. His previous best at Mirpur was 49. This was the 18th test century made by Pakistan against Bangladesh (number 19 followed three overs later) and Younus joins Mohammad Hafeez as the only Pakistanis to make three test hundreds against them.
Let’s do 148, and ask the question. Have you ever seen a test 148, Dmitri? Ah, funny you should say that but…no. I thought that might have been the score of one of Ponting’s tons in Adelaide, but it isn’t. This was the 31st test 148, and some that my readers may remember include:
- Rahul Dravid at Headingley in his 2002 “we don’t seem to be able to get this chap out” tour.
- Alastair Cook’s 148 at Adelaide in his tour for the ages in 2010/11, where he followed up his 235* with this knock. Those were the days.
- One for Arron, Robin Smith’s 148* at Lord’s in 1991 when he marshalled the tail superbly and made a magnificent hundred.
- Tim Robinson’s 148 in 1985, allied with David Gower’s 215, was a joy to watch one glorious Saturday afternoon. Have that on video somewhere…
However, as I always try to do, I want to pick out the old or the obscure, and the first 148 was made back in 1884. It’s almost astonishing that another man was not dismissed on this score for 87 years after that (MAK Pataudi), but back in the day Allan Steel made 148 at Lord’s in 1884 to help England to an innings victory over the Australians. I liked this description of him from Cricinfo:
Though not a regular captain of county or country, he had an improbable run of success as skipper: Marlborough over Rugby, Cambridge over Oxford, Gentlemen over Players, Lancashire over Yorkshire and England over Australia.
Bet he’s on Metatone’s Mafia hitlist (well, he’d been dead over a century, so that’s probably pointless). Anyway, the almanack entry gives you the facts of the first test 148.
Les Ames made an unbeaten 148 against South Africa at The Oval in 1930, and Kenny Barrington an unbeaten 148 against the same opposition at Kingsmead, Durban in the period intervening Steel and Pataudi. Tony Greig made two scores of 148 in 13 months – once in India at the Brabourne, Mumbai, and once in Bridgetown. Greig and Dravid have been dismissed twice for 148, while Barrington and Tendulkar have a dismissal and a not out to their name of that score.
This is the second 148 of the year. The first being made by AB DeVilliers against the West Indies in Cape Town. That century watch can be found here
This was the 26th test hundred made at Mirpur. At time of writing, given Azhar Ali is not out overnight, Younis ranks in 6th place, has the highest score for Pakistan (beating Taufeeq Umar’s 130) and was the second Pakistani to make a hundred at this venue (again, obviously, Taufeeq being the first). The ground record is held by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mahela Jayawardena who both made unbeaten 203s.
Younis Khan’s century came up in 142 balls and contained 9 x 4 and a six.
I don’t really remember the Robin Smith 148* very well, strangely. I knew it took place during my A-Levels, but I just checked the dates and he was batting on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd June. I had no exams between Thursday and Monday, and Monday’s was my last, so I don’t honestly know why I didn’t watch it.
Tim Robinson though, now you’re talking. The Saturday I watched before and after going shopping with my girlfriend (having “forgot” to go with her two weeks earlier so I could watch the Old Trafford Saturday). The sun had come out after two wretched days and two rain-ruined Tests at Nottingham and Manchester. Meanwhile the Monday (Gower’s double, Gatting’s hundred, Botham’s 18 off 7 balls, Thomson’s V-sign, catching up with Richard Ellison and 37-5 on the 10pm news) remains my most vivid childhood memory of watching cricket.
Amazing to think that two weeks later we’d see England’s last home win against a side other than Sri Lanka for five years.
Poor Younis – last year when he made a stack of runs against Australia there was a lot of “we don’t appreciate him enough” promptly followed by a return to not appreciating him. He belongs to the club with Sangakkara, Kallis and Chanderpaul of batsmen whose careers suddenly look stunning as they near their end.
Why isn’t he appreciated more? One reason might be some think him a ‘flat track bully’. That doesn’t stand up:
He has particularly high averages against India and Bangladesh but his figures against Australia, SL, NZ and England are also top class. Only in SA does he fall short (and he has at least managed a century there). Perhaps another reason is he isn’t an outstanding ODI batsman. He has also suffered from Pakistan’s fragmented schedules of course.
If Pakistan win this one they stay 3rd in the rankings but a draw sees England return to 3rd.
Rahul Dravid’s 148 at Headingley is one of my favourite all time innings. The ball moved sideways on that first day and he played like a dream. Caddick, Hoggard, Flintoff and Giles was the attack from memory and a pretty decent one in helpful conditions.
Met Younis once in Abu Dhabi. He was very statesman-like and came across as a nice gent. I think he is a victim of the Karachi elitists in his criticisms.