GALLE, Sri Lanka - Veteran batsman Younis Khan hit an unbeaten 133 to steer Pakistan out of trouble on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle yesterday.
The tourists, after winning the toss in overcast conditions, slumped to 3-56 before Khan's rescue act helped them recover to 4-261 when bad light ended play two overs early.
The 36-year-old, who went to the crease in his 90th Test at 2-19, hit 11 boundaries and a six in his 24th century. Only Inzamam-ul Haq (25) has more Test hundreds for Pakistan.
Skipper Misbah-ul Haq, making a typically dour but determined 31, put on 100 for the fourth wicket with Khan before he was caught behind off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Asad Shafiq ensured the effort did not go waste as he saw off the second new ball to help Khan add 105 for the fifth wicket, himself returning unbeaten at close on 55.
Pakistan's coach Waqar Younis said he was delighted at the total his team was able to post after the early setbacks.
"Any coach or captain will be proud of that," the former fast bowler said. "It all boiled down to experience. Younis has tons of it and so does Misbah.
"There was a lot of talk at home of whether Asad Shafiq deserved to be in the side. He showed today that he belongs to the highest level."
Waqar said it was a bold decision by the team management and the captain to bat first despite favourable overcast conditions for the bowlers.