Second Test, Pakistan v Australia (Abu Dhabi) – Day 1: Younis, Younis, Younus?

Now we’re going Asian in Abu Dhabi

There’s men from every nation in for the derby

Blow the whistle, bang on the gong

The price of oil goes up before long

We’ll be getting rich and getting stoned

Abu Dhabi, Split Enz, 1979



Pakistan 2/304 (Younis Khan 111*, Azhar Ali 101*, Mohammad  Hafeez 45, Ahmed Shehzad 35, MG Johnson 1/50, NM Lyon 1/86) Stumps Day 1 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

A third Younis Khan century in a row has led Pakistan to a dominant position after winning the toss in the second Test. The nearly 37-year-old mixed elegance with slog sweeping of the spinners in his 27th Test century. Azhar Ali was far more reserved yet equally untroubled in his patient 6th Test ton.

While in Dubai Australia could be accused of not being adventurous enough, that was not the case here. The selection of Maxwell over Doolan, eight bowlers used and unusual fielding positions both around the bat and at straight hit, which caused the Pakistanis to question the legality of having a fielder behind the umpire, all showed Australia was trying to make things happen. They did not. The pitch offered absolutely nothing for our bowlers except for some slow turn to Smith and on the odd occasion, Lyon. The Pakistani spinners will relish bowling on this track later in the game.

Like the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is located 30 minutes out of the city in a remote area. More Football Park than Adelaide Oval. While still plenty of empty seats, the crowd was noticeably higher than any day in Dubai. Impressive grandstands at either end with grassy banks on either side. With no shade. No-one braved the grassed areas in the 36 degree temperature.

Only Johnson looked to pose any threat with his bowling. Our spinners, both full and part-time, were largely dealt with easily. Day 2 could well be another long day in the field. I’m not sure we have any other players back here who could have done significantly better in these conditions. Our Asian struggles continue.

The biggest question though is how do you spell Younis? Cricinfo has it as Younis, Fox Sports have it as Younus. Australia will just be happy to see the back of him, no matter how his name is spelled.


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Great music choice Luke. Glad there was something to enliven the day.
    I preferred your original title for the article – “Younis, Younis, Younis – Ready to Go”.
    I understand its the Urdu version of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – Oi, Oi, Oi”.
    Roll on the A League.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Luke yes while I make the point I would have picked , Henriques over , Marsh
    Overall I agree the selections either way are not match winning and we may have tried too many variations and gone away from the norm trying to manufacture dismissals it clearly didn’t work

  3. Well played Luke.
    The toss always loomed as vital.
    Could any bowling attack have fared better in those conditions?
    If not, are the conditions fair and reasonable in which to conduct a sporting contest?

  4. Re Younis Khan, the first batsmen to score tons in three consecutive innings against Australia since Herbert Sutcliffe back in 1924-25. Not a bad claim to fame.

    Where are Faulkner and Hughes ?


  5. Nice lyrics Luke – I haven’t heard that one before, but it sounds more like Tim Finn and than Neil. Just a guess.
    How good is Younis/Younus? He is closing in on Inzy and Javed as the leading Pakistani run scorer. There’s some people here at my work who think he is Yousuf. Shows how little they have toured Australia in the past 10 years.
    Marsh and Maxwell in the top 6 seems strange, but then again I said the same about Steve Smith.
    After winning the Ashes 5-nil and beating SAF in SAF I don’t mind getting smashed in India and Arabia. The fact is when India and Pakistan come here, we will beat them, so it all evens out in the end with those 2 teams.

  6. Yousuf/Younus? Didn’t he used to be Cat Stevens before he gave up music and converted to Islam and cricket?

  7. A bad bad toss to lose (you are correct there, E.r).

  8. Nice job Luke. Splitz Enz writing about Abu Dhabi in 1979? Wow, they really were visionary and global.

    Really like the “More Football Park than Adelaide Oval.” line. The AFL does too, as there’s a pre-season game back there in 2015. Was Chernobyl already booked for a Spandau Ballet gig?

    I worry about our over-reliance on Johnson. We need him healthy for the real stuff over the next couple years.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    From the under-rated Frenzy album – you could make a case for each track having a reference to this Test.

    “I See Red”
    “Give It a Whirl” (T. Finn, N. Finn)
    “Master Plan”
    “Famous People”
    “Hermit McDermitt”
    “Stuff and Nonsense”
    “Marooned” (Rayner)
    “Frenzy” (T. Finn, E. Rayner)
    “The Roughest, Toughest Game in the World”
    “She Got Body, She Got Soul”
    “Abu Dhabi” (T. Finn, E. Rayner)
    “Mind Over Matter” (T. Finn, N. Finn)

    All tracks written by Tim Finn, except where noted. “I See Red” was not included on the first 10,000 copies of this album, having not been a part of the same sessions. It was added subsequently on 1 March 1979. – Thanks to Mr W.Pedia

    Not forgetting that Foopball Parg was used for WSC

  10. You have got the wrong album Swish. You mean “Tea for the Toilermen” by Younis Islam (the cricketer formerly known as Cat Stevens).
    “Into Whites” – his farewell to music and introduction to cricket
    “Miles from Nowhere” – written travelling to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
    “On the Road to Find Out” – written for the Australian cricket selectors
    “Father and Son” – the Marsh family
    “Where do the Children Play” – the Pakistan cricket board’s search for “home” venues

  11. look forward to you writing Luke keep it up you should be writing instead of mowing lawns etc

  12. Andrew Starkie says

    The pitch looks like the inside of a banana cake. You deserve a medal for staying up and watching it, Luke. WHy do our selectors continue to sacrifice no.3? Is it to protect the captain’s average?

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    E.regnans- doubtful whether any other attack would have done any better. Harris and Pattinson very much missed at the moment though.
    Glen- Faulkner not in our top 6 batsmen or top 3 seam bowlers but I like him. He makes things happen. Competes hard. He’d be in my team.
    Damian- as Swish pointed out, yes it’s a Tim song. Very difficult to understand lyrics. Hopefully Maxwell and Marsh can ‘do a Smith’ over the next few years.
    Mickey- Johnson should be a Test only player after the World Cup. If that’s our priority.
    Great work Swish. I love the Frenzy record. In my top 3 SE albums.
    Andrew, Clarke should have gone to 3 a long time ago. Won’t happen now. He looks far from fit at the moment too.
    Peter B- you’re on fire. Younis Islam-love it.

  14. Peter Zitterschlager says

    Wonderful to see 11,000 pour into the stadium last night. Warms the heart to see Test Cricket is done with just yet.

  15. Some more Sheikh Zayed Stadium trivia. Not really miles from nowhere. It is more or less surrounded by suburbia now. It is on a major road on the way to the airport, although easy access is not part of the deal.

    You always knew when a game was on because the surrounding streets would be packed with taxi cabs. Not to supply the crowd with transport home. More to do with the taxi driving population being from the subcontinent. . Even though they couldn’t afford to get in, it is preferable to sit in the cabs outside the ground listening on the radio.

    The previuos Australian team played there in a One Day Series. During the break between innings, the crowd was entertained by a 7’6″ giant and a dwarf walking around the boundary rope holding hands. Perhaps now that the live lion has been canned, this could be the next option for the Gabba?

    It would be a great ground to play footy on. It drains well. But the Indian mafia that control it wouldn’t let the grass be sullied by football boots of any type. That’s why the Adelaide vs Cllingwood NAB game was held on a polo ground more literally in the middle of nowhere.

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Peter Z- was so fantastic to see so many people there last night.

    Thanks Gus. The ground does look good (as does Abu Dhabi’s). Great to hear of cricket winning over footy at at least one ground!

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