DateLine: 24th February 2009
Pakistan captain Younus Khan had wanted merely to go one better than his Sri Lankan counterpart but, after scoring a triple hundred on Tuesday, has raised his sights to Brian Lara's world record of 400.
"I jokingly told Mahela (Jayawardene) that I want to score one run more than him," said Younus after the Sri Lankan captain scored 240 in his team's total of 644-7 declared.
"Now on Wednesday I want to bat for 40 overs to see if I can beat Lara's record."
Younus, 31, finished the day on an unbeaten 306 needing another 95 to go one better on the West Indian left-handed batting genius who made the record against England at Antigua five years ago.
With Pakistan on 574-5 in their first innings and only 90 overs to play on the fifth and final day the Test is destined for a draw.
Younus needs 32 more to overhaul Hanif Mohammad's 337 -- the highest score in a Test innings by a Pakistani batsman, made against the West Indies at Barbados in 1958.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the only other Pakistani to have scored 300 or more in a Test innings, bagged 329 against New Zealand in Lahore seven years ago.
Younus, though, refused to compare the innings with those of his predecessors.
"I didn't see Hanif's innings but I think Inzamam made that score in sweltering heat, was out of form and struggling with fitness. I am lucky to be in that company.
"A triple century is an honour and even our great Javed Miandad came close to it but could never get to that mark, so I am lucky and am very honoured. Moreover this has come at a time when the team needed it badly.
"We were facing the threat of follow-on, so we had to bat cautiously and it is not that that Sri Lankans bowled badly. They were difficult but we managed."
During this innings Younus also completed 5,000 runs in his 59th Test.
He is the sixth Pakistani batsman behind Javed Miandad (8,832 in 124 Tests), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829 in 119), Mohammad Yousuf (6,770 in 79), Salim Malik (5,768 in 103) and Zaheer Abbas (5,062 in 78) to reach the milestone.
Younus also erased Wasim Akram's record of 257 -- the highest Test innings by a Pakistani captain -- which came against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996.
And the master batsman from northwestern city of Mardan, also bettered his personal best of 267, made against India at Bangalore four years ago.
Younus said his 267 is still his best effort.
"My 267 came against India in India and at that time we won the Test. We were 1-0 down and we desperately wanted to win that match," said Younus.
"I dedicate this triple hundred to my friends, my team-mates and, above all, to my family which has gone through several problems," said Younis, who lost who lost his sister and two brothers, one in an accident.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)
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