MELBOURNE: Azhar Ali hit the highest score by a Pakistan batsman in Australia as the tourists pounded the home bowlers on the third day of the second Test in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Azhar passed Majid Khan’s previous highest score of 158 posted in Melbourne 44 years ago with a four through the slips cordon off Josh Hazlewood.
At lunch, the tourists were 433 for seven with Azhar unconquered on 196 off 354 balls with recalled pace bowler Sohail Khan hitting out for an unbeaten 65.
The pair plastered the Australian attack in an beaten run-a-ball stand of 116 that the home side seemed incapable of stopping as the tourists looked to set up a declaration.
It was Azhar’s 12th Test century in his 56th Test and third against Australia and took his aggregate for the calendar year to 1,146 runs at 63.66.
In October, Azhar joined a select club of batsmen with an unbeaten 302 against the West Indies in Dubai and became the first batsman in day-night Test cricket to achieve a triple century.
It was also the fourth triple hundred by a Pakistani batsman.
Mohammad Amir was the only batsman out in the first session, caught down leg-side by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Mitchell Starc for 29 off 27 balls.
Amir, who cracked six boundaries in his breezy knock, put on 49 runs for the seventh wicket with Azhar.
Sohail Khan, brought in for Rahat Ali in the only change from the Gabba Test loss, belted four sixes off spinner Nathan Lyon, in a his belligerent cameo — his highest Test score off as many balls.