Harare: Pakistan’s Yousuf Youhana is back with a bang just weeks after being sent home over a row with captain Waqar Younis.
The batsman scored 100 not out in the third one-day International against Zimbabwe on Wednesday to help his country record a series win. The ton followed unbeaten knocks of 141 and 76 in the first two matches, leaving him with an unbeaten aggregate of 317 runs from the limited overs series so far.
But just three months ago, Youhana — who was also struggling with a shoulder injury at the time — had been sent home from a triangular tournament in Kenya on disciplinary grounds after an argument with Waqar.
“I’m in very good form, for the first time in a long time,” Youhana said on Wednesday. “(My faith in) God has helped me a lot, especially during and after my shoulder injury in August, which kept me out for one and a half months.
“I thank God for my form...My parents and my wife and daughters all pray for me. But I want to score many more runs, because this form won’t last forever. I don’t want to lose this grip.”
Youhana’s purple patch began in the Test series in Zimbabwe, as he averaged 74 in the two Tests with a highest score of 159. The series ended last week with Pakistan winning 2-0. As a coup de grace to his one-day exploits on Wednesday, Youhana — a stalwart of 41 Tests and 114 one-dayers — hit the last ball of Pakistan’s innings for six to reach three figures off 68 balls.
He conceded that batting conditions and the standard of opposition were in his favour. “These are very flat wickets, and Zimbabwe are not a good bowling side at the moment,” he said. “Andy Blignaut, Heath Streak and Travis Friend are all injured.”
He insists there will be no respite for the hosts in the last two matches of the series on Saturday and Sunday, even though Pakistan have already wrapped up the series. (Reuters)