News Azhar hits ton as Pakistan consolidate position

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Mar 5, 2010
DUBAI: Pakistan batsmen consolidated the team’s position against England reaching 295 runs for three wickets in their second innings at lunch on third day of the third Test match against England here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday..

Young batsman Azhar Ali, who completed his second Test hundred, was 115 not out at lunch.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq was also at the crease with 16 as both so far added 51 runs for an unbeaten fourth wicket stand.

The only batsman out today was Younis Khan, who made 127. He completed his 20th Test hundred before stumps on the opening day.

He and Azhar were involved in a big partnership of 216 runs for the third wicket which put Pakistan in a commanding position against England who already lost the first two Tests and were facing a 3-0 clean sweep.

Pakistan won the first Test by 10 wickets in Dubai and the second in Abu Dhabi by 72 runs.

Pakistan extended their lead to 253 runs, adding 73 runs in the first session.

The 26-year-old Ali, whose maiden hundred came against Sri Lanka at the same venue in October last year, started cautiously before hitting left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for two boundaries in successive overs to reach the three-figure mark.

Azhar's hundred came in 369 minutes with five boundaries and a six.

Resuming at 222-2 Pakistan slowly added invaluable runs as England, who took the second new ball late on Saturday, attacked with pacemen James Anderson and Stuart Broad in a hope of early wickets.

Broad provided the breakthrough when he brought one in and caught Younis in front of the wicket. Younis challenged Australian umpire Steve Davis's decision but on review had to leave the field.

Younis hit 12 boundaries and a six during his 221-ball knock.

Anderson and Panesar also have one wicket each as the bowlers continued to struggle after the nature of the pitch changed on the second day. As many as 16 wickets fell on the first day.