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Azhar Ali slams ton as Pakistan middle-order flexes batting muscle

Azhar Ali scored 145 on the opening day for Pakistan.
Azhar Ali scored 145 on the opening day for Pakistan.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Pakistanis 363-5 (Ali 145) v Sussex
Tour match, day one, Hove

Azhar Ali struck a top-notch 145 while Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq hit fluent fifties as Pakistan went on to post 363 for five on day one of the tour match against Sussex in Hove.

Sussex won the toss and fielded first. Jofra Archer (4-49) dismissed Shan Masood (4) as early as in the fourth over.

A brief partnership later, Mohammad Hafeez (17) also failed to make his start count, falling lbw to Archer in the 12th over. It was here that Ali (145) and Younis (59) got together to post a solid 125-run stand for the third wicket.

Ali was the first to bring up a fifty, taking 123 balls to reach the landmark. Not long after, Younis also completed his own half-century with a boundary. The pair took Pakistan to 167 for two in 50 overs.

Danny Briggs (1-70) broke the partnership by dismissing Younis. Misbah (68) carried on from where Younis left and anchored one end.

Meanwhile Ali completed his ton with a boundary in the 86th over. Misbah and Ali scored runs at a quick pace and added 146 runs for the fourth wicket.

Towards the second half of the final session, Misbah upped the ante and reached a 65-ball fifty soon after which Pakistan crossed the 300-run mark. In the space of seven overs, Archer removed both Misbah and Ali.

Nevertheless, Asad Shafiq (13 not out) and Sarfraz Ahmed (21 not out) took Pakistan safely to 363 for five from 99 overs at stumps on day one. Archer’s four-wicket haul was the only bright spot for Sussex.

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