Azhar Ali scored an unbeaten 205 as Pakistan declared on 443-9 before David Warner’s 144 from 143 balls sparked hopes of an Australian comeback on day three of the second Test in Melbourne.
It was Azhar’s 12th Test century in his 56th Test and third against Australia, swelling his aggregate for the calendar year to 1,155 runs at 64.16.
Azhar is also the first Pakistan batsman to score two scores of 200 or more in Tests in a calendar year. He had scored 302 not out previously against West Indies a pink-ball Test in Dubai. The closest before him to get two double-centuries in a year was Mohammad Yousuf who scored 202 against England at Lord’s in 2006, and three scores in the 190s that same year.
Azhar went past Majid Khan’s score of 158 at Melbourne during his innings, which remained the highest score by any Pakistani at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as well as in Australia. This record remained intact since December 1972, but Azhar ensured to not only go past it, but convert it into a double century which will be celebrated world over by the Pakistani fans. Azhar’s double century has propelled Pakistan to a strong total, and if rains stay away from Melbourne, the touring side can actually push for a series-levelling victory in this ongoing three-match affair. As of now, Australia are 1-0 up with a 39-run victory at Brisbane.