Azhar Ali’s ton lifts Pakistan to 232-4 at lunch

Pakistan's Azhar Ali (at runnereend), watches on as Australia's Josh Hazlewood bowls to Mohammad Amir during the second day of second cricket test in Melbourne, on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.

Due to wet conditions no play was possible between lunch and tea.

Opener Azhar Ali scored an unbeaten 112 to lift Pakistan to 232-4 on the second day of the rain-marred second cricket test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Due to wet conditions no play was possible between lunch and tea. Persistent drizzle had permitted just 124 minutes of play on Tuesday, with only six hours of play possible over five sessions.

Azhar and Asad Shafiq, 48 not out, batted stubbornly in difficult conditions to share a steadying 107—run stand for the fifth wicket after the tourists had stumbled to 112—4 after winning the toss.

Azhar, 31, has been the mainstay of the Pakistan innings so far, and batted brilliantly without offering any chances off 233 balls. He mixed caution with aggression and studded his 12th test century with eight exquisitely driven boundaries.

The 56—test veteran became only the seventh Pakistani batsman to score a test ton at this famous venue and duly knelt and kissed the playing surface in a solemn celebration of a milestone he so richly deserved. It was Azhar’s third hundred in six test appearances against Australia including 109 and 100 not out in Abu Dhabi in October 2014.

Asad, who scored 137 in the second innings in Brisbane, continued that form here, hitting for fours off 146 balls in 2 hours.

Repeated attempts to resume play after the lunch break were thwarted by the inclement weather, with the pitch remaining covered for most of the afternoon.


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