Azhar makes day-night history as Pakistan dominate against Windies


Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali scored the first century in the history of day-night Tests against West Indies on Thursday.

Competing in their maiden day-night Test in Dubai - the second ever in the format - Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that was vindicated as Azhar adapted excellently to playing with the pink ball.

The opener reached stumps unbeaten on 146, recording his 11th hundred in the five-day game against a Windies attack that laboured throughout the day with little reward.

Azhar was ably supported by Sami Aslam, who posted his third half-century in five Tests but came 10 runs short of his first three-figure score in the longest form of the game, Roston Chase (1-63) claiming the day's only wicket as Pakistan closed on 279-1.

Big scores have been hard to come by for Azhar in recent times, with his sole ton in 2016 prior to this performance coming in a losing cause, the right-hander scoring 139 in a heavy defeat in the third Test of Pakistan's tour of England back in August.

But Azhar showed signs of form with the bat in a one-day match with the Windies last week, clubbing 101 in a comprehensive 136-run win.

And he carried that momentum into the opening day of play by striking up a superb 67.5-over partnership of 215 with Aslam, the pair overhauling Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith as they forged the best opening partnership in Dubai.

Azhar's ton was brought up in fitting fashion with a four - one of 14 for him on the day - middling a drive to the left of mid-off to find the rope.

Aslam struck two half-centuries on the tour of England and the 20-year-old produced a further demonstration of his promise with his highest Test score.

However, he was robbed of a maiden century when he bottom-edged a Chase delivery through the legs and onto his stumps.

Yet the Windies had no luck in ending Azhar's stay at the crease, Asad Shafiq contributing with four boundaries and reaching stumps unbeaten on 33 as Pakistan made an excellent start to the three-match series.