Younis Khan was just one run short of becoming the first Pakistan batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs as his team reached 125 for two in their first innings at tea on the third day of the rain-affected first Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park on Sunday.
Replying to the home side’s total of 286, Younis was on 22 at the interval in partnership with Babar Azam (47 not out), the third-wicket pair progressing at a snail’s pace through the afternoon session in which they combined for 66 runs off 28 overs.
Their partnership has so far been worth 71 runs.
Possibly mindful of his proximity to the landmark, Younis batted with exaggerated caution, taking 40 minutes to get off the mark while Azam attempted to keep the scoreboard ticking over at the other end.
Hailed as a potential successor to Younis as the permanent occupant of the number three batting position, he enjoyed a moment of luck just after lunch when West Indies captain Jason Holder failed to hold on to a caught-and-bowled chance with Azam on 12.
Holder had finished unbeaten on 57 after the delayed start to another rain-affected day as Mohammad Amir completed his best Test innings figures to wrap up the home side’s innings after they resumed at the overnight position of 278 for nine.
He bowled last man Shannon Gabriel to finish with six for 44, an effort which improved on his previous best of six for 84 against England at Lord’s in 2010.
That occasion was, ironically, to prove his undoing for the then teenaged fast bowler’s role in the spot-fixing scandal that overtook the game and resulted in him being banned from the game for five years.
Play started 90 minutes later than scheduled due to the continuing effects of heavy, torrential rain on a damp outfield which reduced play to just 55 minutes on the second day.
Pakistan started their reply brightly with Azhar Ali looking ominous before he chased a wide delivery from Alzarri Joseph to give a catch to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich tumbling in front of first slip.
Ahmed Shehzad, playing his first Test for almost two years, also opened brightly with a flurry of shots, including five boundaries in 31 only to be trapped leg-before on the back foot by Holder.