Dubai - Opener Azhar Ali smashed a maiden triple hundred to put Pakistan
firmly in control against the West Indies in the first day-night Test in
Dubai on Friday.
Ali's epic unbeaten 302 guided Pakistan to 579-3
declared before the West Indies closed the second day on 69-1, still
needing another 311 to avoid the follow-on with opener Kraigg Brathwaite
(32) and Darren Bravo, on 14 not out, fighting at the crease.
lost Leon Johnson leg-before in leg-spinner Yasir Shah's second over
for 15 but negotiated the pace-cum-spin attack well for 22 overs.
was Ali who stole the limelight in this second ever day-night Test with
a career-best score that was spread over 645 minutes of dominating
batting, albeit on a flat Dubai stadium pitch.
It is only the
third Test triple century against the West Indies, after Andy Sandham of
England and late Pakistan great Hanif Mohammad, making Pakistan's 400th
Test, and his own 50th, a memorable occasion.
In all Ali smashed
23 boundaries and two sixes and put on 215 for the opening wicket with
Sami Aslam (90), 147 for the second with Asad Shafiq (67) and 165 with
Babar Azam (69) for the third.
Ali drove part-timer Jermaine
Blackwood to the cover boundary to complete his triple century off 469
balls, pumped the air in jubilation and then did Pakistan's new style
of salute and push-up celebrations.
Misbah, unbeaten on 29, signalled the declaration in an attempt to forge ahead in the three-match series.
became the fourth Pakistan batsmen behind Hanif (337 vs West Indies in
1958), Inzamam-ul-Haq (329 vs New Zealand in 2002) and Younis Khan (313
vs Sri Lanka in 2009) to hit a triple hundred.
When on 278 Ali completed 4,000 Test runs, becoming the tenth Pakistani to reach the milestone in the five-day format.
knock as well as Pakistan's big total justified the decision to refine
the seam on the pink ball used for this match after players complained
of difficulties picking it up in the first-ever day-night Test between
Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide last year.
A switch to a
black seam, instead of the white and green one used at Adelaide,
seemingly aided the batsmen considerably, with leg-spinner Devendra
Bishoo (2-125) returning the best figures for a struggling West Indian
Earlier, Ali was given another lifeline when Blackwood
dropped a regulation catch off spinner Roston Chase in the slips with
the Pakistani opener on 190.
Resuming at 279-1, Pakistan lost one wicket in the first session when Shafiq gave a return catch to Bishoo.
continued from where he left off after resuming on 146, reaching his
150 with a single and then hitting a six and a boundary off Chase to
send Pakistan past 350.
Soon after Ali reached his double century
with a boundary off paceman Shannon Gabriel, his second after scoring
226 against Bangladesh in Dhaka last year.
This three-match series will continue in Abu Dhabi (October 21-25) and Sharjah (October 30-November 3).