Pakistan's Azhar Ali slams 18th Test century: The key numbers
Senior Pakistan cricket team batsman Azhar Ali smashed a sublime century on Day 1 of the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare on Friday. The former Pakistan Test captain forged a brilliant 236-run partnership for the second wicket alongside Abid Ali. Notably, Abid hit this third Test century as well. Pakistan are 268/4 at stumps. Here are further details.
Centurion Azhar gets past 6,500 career Test runs
Azhar smashed 126 runs off 240 deliveries, hitting 17 fours and a six. The senior cricketer went past the 6,500-run mark in Tests with his effort. He now has 6,579 runs at an average of 43.28. He is just the fifth Pakistani batsman to get past 6,500 runs in Test cricket.
Azhar smashes his 18th career Test ton
Azhar now has 18 career Test centuries. He equaled the likes of David Gower, Desmond Haynes, Michael Vaughan, and Cheteshwar Pujara in terms of Test tons. The celebrated batsman slammed his maiden Test century against Zimbabwe. Playing his fifth Test against Zimbabwe, he went past 300 runs against them (344). This was his sixth century outside the sub-continent.
Pakistan dominate Day 1 before Zimbabwe hit back
Pakistan lost Imran Butt (2) early on before Azhar found an able support from Abid. Together, the two batsmen stitched a crucial 236-run stand for the second wicket. The partnership deflated the Zimbabwe bowlers, who then hit back ahead of stumps. Azhar was dismissed in the 83rd over as pacer Blessing Muzarabani also dismissed Babar Azam (2) and Fawad Alam (5).
Unique record for Azhar Ali
As per Opta, Azhar Ali is now just the second batsman after New Zealand's Kane Williamson to score a Test century in each of the last eight calendar years (2014-2021).