Azhar shines against Windies

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DOMINICA: Opener Azhar Ali was un­beaten on 85 as Pak­istan crawled to 169 for two on a rainaf­fected first day of the se­ries­de­cid­ing third Test against West Indies on Wed­nes­day.

A de­ci­sion by West Indies cap­tain Ja­son Holder to send Pak­istan in to bat back­fired, as the vis­i­tors lost only one early wicket, Shan Ma­sood for nine, at Wind­sor Park in Roseau.

The only other wicket to fall was Babar Azam for 55.

Younus Khan, in his 118th and fi­nal Test, was not out 10 at stumps. Younus re­ceived a guard of hon­our from West Indies play­ers as he walked to the crease and pro­ceeded to make a slow start, fac­ing 44 balls and still wait­ing for his first bound­ary.

Cap­tain Mis­bah-ul-Haq is also play­ing his fi­nal Test.

Azhar bat­ted all day, fac­ing 219 balls in an ob­du­rate knock, inch­ing within sight of his 14th Test cen­tury. He hit two sixes and seven fours.

West Indies bowlers toiled dili­gently, and at least could take some so­lace from keep­ing the run-rate low on a day when only 69 overs were pos­si­ble due to rain.

Pace­man Alzarri Joseph and off-spin­ner Ros­ton Chase took one wicket each, while fast bowler Shan­non Gabriel was eco­nom­i­cal, con­ceded 32 runs in 19 overs.

Pak­istan made two changes from the team that lost the sec­ond Test, bring­ing in pace bowler Hasan Ali for leg-spin­ner Shadab Khan, with Ma­sood re­plac­ing Ahmed She­hzad.

West Indies were un­changed for the match af­ter they pulled off a sur­pris­ing 106-run vic­tory in the sec­ond Test in Bar­ba­dos fol­low­ing a seven-wicket loss in the first game in Ja­maica. Reuters

Azhar Ali

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