(Reuters) - Younis Khan became the first Pakistan batsman to score 10,000 test runs on Sunday, reaching the milestone against West Indies in the opening match of his farewell international series.
Earlier this year, Younis also became the first batsman to score centuries in all 11 countries that have hosted tests after completing his set with a maiden ton in Australia, and the Pakistan Cricket Board was quick to pay tribute to the 39-year-old’s “prolific career”.
“Younis Khan has been an excellent ambassador of Pakistan cricket,” PCB Chairman Shaharyar M. Khan said on the board’s website. “The number of records he has set in the recent past is something we as a nation can take great pride in.”
PCB Executive Committee Chairman Najam Aziz Sethi said Younis was a “run machine” while Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad described him as the “backbone” of Pakistan’s batting.
Younis was stuck on 9,999 runs at the tea break on the third day at Sabina Park in Kingston but did not have to wait much longer for his moment to come.
On the second ball of the final session, Younis swept off-spinner Roston Chase to the fine-leg boundary as an excited Pakistani contingent in the small crowd cheered and chanted wildly.
Younis removed his helmet, pointed his bat towards his team mates in the pavilion and punched his chest.
He took 208 innings to reach the 10,000 mark, and has averaged just over 53 runs in his 116-test career, scoring 34 centuries.
India’s Sunil Gavaskar became the first player to score 10,000 test runs in 1987 while his compatriot Sachin Tendulkar heads the all-time list with 15,921.
Born in Mardan, a city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Younis scored a century in his debut test against Sri Lanka in 2000 and notched his highest score of 313 against the same side in 2009.
Later that year, he led his country to a World T20 win at Lord’s where they defeated Sri Lanka to lift the trophy.
Younis played 265 one day internationals and amassed 7,249 runs before stepping back from the format in 2015. That same year he also became Pakistan’s highest test run maker, passing Javed Miandad’s mark of 8,832 runs.
He announced earlier this month that he would bring the curtain down on his international career after the three-test series against West Indies.
After sharing in a third-wicket partnership of 131 with Babar Azam on Sunday, Younis was caught at cover off paceman Shannon Gabriel for 58.
Pakistan were 201 for four wickets at stumps in their first innings, 85 runs behind.
While Younis deservedly took the limelight, fast bowler Mohammad Amir also had reason to smile after earlier finishing with 6-44 off 26 overs as Pakistan dismissed West Indies for 286, with captain Jason Holder unbeaten on 57.
It was Amir’s best haul since returning to the test team last year after serving a five-year ban for his role in a spot-fixing scandal.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Additional reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom and Peter Rutherford