Azhar Ali touches new heights after double-ton

1611

ISLAMABAD, Dec 29 (APP): Azhar Ali’s double ton against Australia in the ongoing second Test at Melbourne is one of the best knocks ever seen in a Boxing Day Test by a visiting batsman.
The 31-year old batted for nearly two-and-a-half days for his unbeaten 205.
Throughout the innings he was rock solid and kept the Aussie bowlers at bay.
According to data collected by a prominent cricket website www.espncricinfo.com Azhar Ali is Pakistan’s only batsman with two scores of 200 or more in a year.
Before his 205 not out in Melbourne, he had made an unbeaten 302 in the day-night Test against West Indies in October.
Azhar is also the first Pakistan batsman to score a double-century in Tests in Australia.
Majid Khan’s 158 at the MCG in 1972-73 was the previous highest.
He is only visiting opener to made a double-hundred at the MCG. The previous highest was Virender Sehwag’s 195 in 2003-04. Overall, Azhar is only the third opener to make a double-ton at the venue, after Justin Langer and Bill Lawry.
Before Azhar, five openers had made two or more 200-plus scores in a year. India’s Sehwag had made 201 not out and 319 in 2008. The others to accomplish this are Graeme Smith, Marvan Atapattu, Gordon Greenidge and Glenn Turner.
Azhar’s aggregate as an opener in Tests in 2016 is 939. Among Pakistan openers only Mohsin Khan scored more in a year – 1029 runs at 73.50 in 1982. Azhar’s overall tally of 1155 is the third highest by a Pakistan batsman in a year after Mohammad Yousuf’s 1788 and Younis Khan’s 1179 in 2006.
Azhar and Sohail Khan added 118 runs, the most for Pakistan for the eighth wicket against Australia. Azhar and Sohail’s partnership came at 5.94 runs an over; it was Pakistan’s second century stand for the eighth wicket in the last 20 years.
The year 2003 is t he last instance of openers from both sides, making centuries in a MCG Test – Sehwag and Matthew Hayden. Azhar and Warner did so in the ongoing match.