Azhar’s ton strengthens Pakistan’s position in critical juncture of 3rd Test

Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq resumed Pakistan’s innings on day three of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

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Azhar struck a fighting half century to help Pakistan recover to 139-3 at close on the second.

It marked a good recovery from 17-2 after Kiwi pace bowler Trent Boult ripped out openers Imamul Haq and Mohammed Hafeez, who later announced his retirement from Test cricket.

Azhar was unbeaten on 62 at the close having shared a dogged, unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 54 with Asad Shafiq who will resume on 26.

Azhar Ali scored his 15th Test century and Asad Shafiq stroked his 11th Test half century strengthening Pakistan’s position further after a dwindling start,  New Zealand’s first innings total of 274 which included BJ Watling’s gutsy and vital 77 not out seems more in reach now as Pakistan at the moment stands at 212 for 3 with Asad and Azhar looking firmly in control.

The three-match series is tied at 1-1 after New Zealand won the first Test in Abu Dhabi by four runs before Pakistan bounced back with an innings and 16-run win in the second in Dubai.

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