Cricket: Clarke praises ‘gentleman’ Younis

DUBAI:  Australian skipper Michael Clarke praised record century maker Younis Khan as a “gentleman of the game” after the Pakistani notched a century in each innings in the first Test on Saturday.

Younis hit an unbeaten 103, following up his 106 in the first knock, to help Pakistan set Australia a big 438-run target to win in Dubai.

Australia were tottering at 59-4, still needing 379 runs or bat all through the fifth day on Sunday to avoid a defeat in the two-match series.

Clarke praised Younis as a good player.

“Younis is a very good player and has been for a long time. I found out yesterday this is only his 93rd Test match, I thought he’d played a lot more than that.

“He’s one of the gentlemen of our game, a class player,” said Clarke of the Pakistani batsman.

Younis became the seventh Pakistani batsmen to score twin centuries in a Test and also surpassed Inzamam-ul Haq as the leading century maker for his country with 26.

Clarke showed disappointment over his team’s failure.

“We probably haven’t had the best of games so far. Dave Warner was the stand-out with the bat in the first innings,” said Clarke of the opener who scored 133 in Australian first innings of 303.

Pakistan had made 454 runs in the first knock, taking a 151-run lead.

“Mitch Johnson bowled pretty well in the first innings on a really flat wicket. But if you look at all facets of the game we’ve been outplayed at this stage.

“We’ve got to fight our backsides off tomorrow and see what happens. Credit needs to go to Pakistan. They’ve played really well. They batted really well in these conditions and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do the same.”

Clarke, who recovered after a hamstring injury sustained on the tour of Zimbabwe in August, failed in both the innings, scoring only two and three in the match.

“I am really disappointed with my personal performance in this Test match at the moment,” said Clarke, Test cricket’s highest run getter with 1,093 in 2013.

“I am not looking to blame anybody else or criticise anybody else. I’ve always loved the challenge of facing spin bowling. I’ve been out twice to spin bowling in this Test match,” said Clarke.

“There’s no time between now and the second Test match so I have just got to keep working my backside off in the nets and then when I get another opportunity I need to make sure I bat for as long as I can.”

The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from October 30. (AFP)

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