Sachin's wicket was the turnaround: Younis Khan

After beating India in a thrilling match by four wickets, Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan said that Tendulkar's wicket proved crucial for his team.

updated: November 10, 2007 10:17 IST
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After beating India in a thrilling match by four wickets, Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan said that Sachin Tendulkar's wicket proved crucial for his team as he was looking dangerous and could have helped India post a total of 400 plus runs.

"The way Sachin was playing, India looked set to post a target of 350 plus, even 400 runs could have been scored.

Chasing such a big target would have definitely been difficult for us," Khan, who scored 117 and was awarded the man-of-the-match, said.

He said that 23-year-old pacer Umar Gul had brought them back in the business and put a halt on blistering stroke play unleashed by the Tendulkar (99) and Gautam Gambhir (57).

"Umar brought us back in the game. Shoaib Akhtar's second spell was also good," 29-year-old Khan said.

He said his team had decided that someone needs to stay there till the last overs and play a big innings.

"We knew Shahid (Afridi) is a good finisher and he proved it in the end. We knew that Shahid will have a specific target and he will play with one mind," he said.

"We knew that in the last few overs even if we have to chase over 10 plus, we will make them," he said, adding the way ODIs were being played now even chasing over 200 runs in last 20 overs is not a big task provided you have the wickets left.

Asked if Twenty20 had changed the whole way and made chasing more easier in the end, "I think a range of shots are being played by the batsmen these days. Slog shots and reverse sweeps are being more commonly employed these days," he said.

He termed Tendulkar's getting out on 99 as "sheer bad luck" and ruled out it had anything to do with nervous 90s.

He said the team needed to win today's match to stay alive in the competition and added India-Pak matches are always tough.

Khan said there was great camaraderie in which the match was played.

"I liked the fireworks which went up at the end of the match. It happens that we get support when we travel to India and the Indians get good crowd support when they tour Pakistan ," he said.

On his innings, he said today's century is a "special and memorable" one for him.
About the pitch, he said it looked very good right from the start and said Indian skipper M S Dhoni had taken the right decision by electing to bat first.

Khan also dedicated his innings to late Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer.

"I dedicate this innings to Bob Woolmer," he said.