Desire to score century in NZ not fulfilled: Azhar Ali

Sohail Imran
Desire to score a century in New Zealand not fulfilled: Azhar Ali / Photo: PCB

Pakistan Test batsman Azhar Ali on Sunday said that it was unfortunate he could not score a century against New Zealand on first day of second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

“I wanted to score a century here as I haven’t scored one in New Zealand before but unfortunately that was not possible. Although, I have one innings left, I had a good chance to score it today,” he said.

Azhar scored a magnificent innings of 93 runs leading Pakistan to a fighting total of 297 after a batting mini collapse in the opening session left Pakistan in trouble. The batsman, however, failed to turn the innings to a century, falling short off just 7 runs.

The batman is yet to score a hundred in New Zealand in his ten-year long Test career.

Despite the disappointment, Azhar was happy about scoring runs in difficult conditions, saying it has increased his confidence. “Conditions have not been easy as the pitch suits the bowlers. But we have runs on the scoreboard, that gives us a good chance in this Test match,” he said.

“Despite losing the toss, we batted well and also managed to build a partnership. The fifth-wicket stand with Mohammad Rizwan has strengthened the team,” Azhar added.

The former captain also praised the debutant Zafar Gohar for scoring runs in difficult conditions. “The conditions were not easy for batting yet Zafar did well under pressure. He has proved that he is a talented and confident cricketer,” he said.

Zafar scored 34 runs in the first innings on his debut before becoming a victim to a short ball off Tim Southee.

Pakistan were all out for 297 on day one of the final Test of series. The two teams will meet again on Monday to resume the match.

Azhar was confident that Pakistani bowlers will do well tomorrow. “We will try to get New Zealand team out as soon as possible. The conditions favor the bowlers; ball was seaming a lot today as well. We will try to bowl well early on to create difficulties for New Zealand,” he added.  

Read: Fighting knocks by Azhar, Rizwan help Pakistan score 297

Pak vs NZ: Desire to score century in NZ not fulfilled: Azhar Ali