MELBOURNE: Pakistan’s opening batsman Azhar Ali has not often appeared a person in a rush in six years of Test cricket so it was becoming that his twelfth century was eked out in matches and begins over two wet days on the Melbourne Cricket Floor.
Azhar’s unbeaten 139 pushed Pakistan to 310 for six on the finish of day two of the second Test towards Australia on Tuesday and was a triumph of endurance and willpower within the face of irritating rain delays and a world class tempo assault.
The ton lifted the gritty 31-yr-previous previous 1,000 runs for the yr, a milestone shared by solely 4 others from the south Asian nation.
He’s additionally inside putting vary of Majid Khan’s 158 on the similar floor in 1972, the very best rating by a Pakistan participant in Australia.
The rain has crimped the vacationers’ hopes of forcing a outcome to maintain the three-match collection alive after their 39-run loss within the Brisbane opener.
However Azhar might have at the least gained over extra followers, having left some chilly together with his one-dimensional, blue collar batting fashion.
He additionally boosted his declare to be a person for all surfaces.
Having beforehand scored all his centuries on Asian pitches, Azhar’s knock on the MCG added to the 139 he scored at Edgbaston in August in a dropping trigger towards England.
“He was very dedicated, very decided … from the primary day as nicely,” Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz advised reporters after his staff-mate’s unfinished 287-ball knock. “We had a chat as nicely that he needed to attain a century and that he needed his identify on the board on the MCG.”
Azhar has proved a bugbear to Australia since his debut at Lord’s in 2010, the place he scored sixteen and forty two however soaked up loads of time on the crease.
He scored again-to-again centuries within the Abu Dhabi Test in 2014 to assist Pakistan clean Australia 2-zero within the collection.
On the MCG, he was at his most stolid and irritating on day one, and took over ninety balls earlier than hitting his first boundary.
However on day two he opened his shoulders towards the ageing ball and despatched a string of chic straight drives thundering previous Australia’s hapless seamers.
He was lucky Nathan Lyon missed the stumps for a run-out probability when coaxed right into a reckless single by Asad Shafiq, with whom he shared an necessary one hundred fifteen-run stand.
Simply earlier than the morning drinks break, he needed to lunge again to his crease when Asad smacked straight again at bowler Jackson Fowl who acquired a hand to the ball earlier than it clattered into the stumps.
A 3rd umpire assessment confirmed he was protected however the scoreboard flashed that he was ‘out’, as if its operator was additionally weary of Azhar’s resistance.
The scoreboard was quickly amended; prompting groans from the house crowd and Azhar marched on.
Rain pressured a break and left him stranded on ninety six however unfazed, he returned to tease two runs down the leg-aspect to convey up an assured and morale-boosting century.
Revealed in Daybreak December twenty eighth, 2016
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