Azhar mile­stone helps Pak­istan’s progress

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RESULTS / ROUND-UP -

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.

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