Dream comes true for Taufeeq


Pakistani opener Taufeeq Umar said he had achieved a burning desire to score the Test double hundred which set his team on course for a big win in the first of three Tests against Sri Lanka on Thursday. The 31-year-old left-handed batsman notched a patient 236 to guide Pakistan to 511-6 declared on the third day, giving them an overall lead of 314 over Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 197. Sri Lankan finished the day at 47-1, still needing another 267 runs to avoid an innings defeat, with the Abu Dhabi stadium pitch showing signs of spin. Umar batted for 700 minutes, hitting 17 boundaries and a six during his marathon knock. Afterwards, he said it was a dream come true. “It was my burning desire to score a Test double hundred,” said Umar, who also surpassed his best Test score of 135, made on two occasions — against South Africa in 2003 and against the West Indies earlier this year. Umar’s is the first double hundred by a Pakistani opener since Aamir Sohail’s 205 against England at Old Trafford in 1992 and the second highest score opening the Pakistan innings behind Hanif Mohammad’s 337, against the West Indies in 1958. “I am delighted to hear that I am in an illustrious company of Hanif and Sohail,” said Umar, who added 160 for the second wicket with Azhar Ali (70) and three over fifty partnerships for the next wickets. Umar said he is doubly happy that he scored runs when the team needed them. “It was very hot outside, but I kept telling myself that my team needed me to stay and I achieved that to put my team in a strong position,” said Umar.