Azhar’s unbeaten 146 grinds West Indies on 1st day

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 13: Azhar Ali of Pakistan bats during Day One of the First Test between Pakistan and West Indies at Dubai International Cricket Ground on October 13, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Pakistan couldn’t have asked for a better start to their landmark 400th Test. Azhar Ali became the first centurion in day-night Test cricket and he remained unbeaten at 146 at the end of day’s play. Pakistan finished the first day on 279 for 1.

After Pakistan won the toss, Azhar added 215 with Sami Aslam, Pakistan’s fourth-best opening stand. WI finally found a way past the pair when Chase had Aslam bottom-edging a sweep into his stumps for 90. Azhar then combined with Shafiq to drive Pakistan’s assured progress.

Earlier, after Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss in Pakistan’s 400th Test, his openers played their part in ensuring that the landmark match got off to a dominating start for them. Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam stroked unbeaten fifties by the dinner break to take the side to a formidable 172 for no loss on a typically flat Dubai surface.

In theory, both teams were in unchartered territory, playing their first day-night Test – and the second overall – at a time when the concept was still new and the behaviour of the pink ball under scrutiny. In practice, the ball did not do much in the afternoon heat and, while there was a bit more for the West Indies bowlers under lights in the second session, they did not do enough to trouble the well-set openers.

Asad Shafiq was unbeaten at 33.


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