Azhar milestone helps Pakistan’s progress
SKIPPER Azhar Ali passed 5,000 Test runs as Pakistan made solid progress with the bat on the third day of the opening match against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.
The 32-year-old, in his 115th innings, became the fourth quickest Pakistan batsman to reach the milestone during his unbeaten 74.
Openers Shan Masood and Sami Aslam also struck half-centuries to lift the designated hosts to 266 for four at the close, trailing Sri Lanka’s first-innings 419 by 153 runs, making a draw the most likely outcome.
Masood and Aslam provided a solid platform for Azhar with an opening partnership of 114, but the pair both departed in quick succession to give the tourists a sniff.
Asad Shafiq added 39 in a stand of 79 with Azhar and, after he became Rangana Herath’s second victim, Pakistan also lost Babar Azam to the last ball of the day after edging Nuwan Pradeep behind for 28.