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Regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

‘Legend’ Abid Ali in elite group

I was intent on being positive, says Pakistan opener

Agencies Karachi Published 21.12.19, 09:58 PM
Pakistan's Abid Ali celebrates his centuary against Sri Lanka during the third day of their second Test cricket match at National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday

Pakistan's Abid Ali celebrates his centuary against Sri Lanka during the third day of their second Test cricket match at National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday (AP)

Abid Ali and Shan Masood became only the third opening pair for Pakistan to hit centuries in the same innings as Pakistan turned the tables on Sri Lanka in the final Test in Karachi on Saturday.

Abid, nicknamed “legend” in Pakistan’s dressing room, hit 174 for his second hundred in as many Tests, becoming the first Pakistani and ninth batsmen overall to score two centuries in his first two Tests.

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Abid’s successive century also put him in elite company — India’s Mohammed Azharuddin scored three hundreds in his first three Tests after his debut against England at home in December 1984.

When the third day’s play ended, Pakistan were in a strong position with 395 for 2, having an overall lead of 315 after conceding an 80-run lead in the first innings.

It was a day of batsmen’s dominance as Pakistan added 338 runs after resuming at 57 for no loss on a National Stadium pitch which dried up to help batting.

Masood blasted 135 for his second century in his 19th Test as the duo put on 278 for the opening wicket, just 20 short of equalling the highest opening stand for Pakistan of 298. Amir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed had set that record against the West Indies here in 1997.

Abid, 32, completed his century with a sweep of off-spinner Lasith Embuldeniya for two to follow his 109 in the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, where he made his debut.

The Rawalpindi century made Abid the first batsman ever to score hundreds in both Test and one-day debuts. He had scored 112 in his first ODI, against Australia in Dubai earlier this year.

Abid credited domestic cricket for his performance.

“The domestic cricket I’ve played has served me well, and it was all for this moment,” he said. “Wherever I’ve gone, whichever region or department I played for gave me the confidence to play well today. In the 105 first-class matches I played before this game, all I was focused on was I had to take my chance whenever I was given one. I was intent on being positive, and that’s always the way I look to play.”

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