Saturday, March 5th, 2022


Worcestershire CCC 2022 overseas player, Azhar Ali, scored his 19th Test century against a top-quality Australian attack to put Pakistan in control on day two of the First Test in Rawalpindi.

Azhar, signed by Worcestershire to play red ball cricket throughout the bulk of the summer, reached his hundred off 257 balls.

He made a magnificent 185 from 361 balls with three sixes and 15 balls in a taster for Worcestershire members and supporters of what they can look forward to this summer.

Australia had a pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins plus spinner Nathan Lyon but Azhar stood firm in mixing solid defence with aggression. 

 He went to his hundred with a boundary off former Worcestershire overseas player Lyon.

Azhar returned to action for the first time since mid-December but showed no signs of rustiness after his break.

He came to the wicket at 105-1 on the opening day and collected his first six with a slog sweep against Lyon.

A single off Marnus Labuschagne brought up his half-century from 113 balls as he and Iman-ul-Haq dominated proceedings.

Today, Azhar resumed 64 and added 208 for the second wicket with Iman, who scored his maiden Test century. 

After reaching three figures, Azhar hit another six off Lyon, from a slog sweep to a delivery outside the off stump.

Iman was eventually dismissed for 157, but Azhar powered on, and his 150 was completed from 317 deliveries out of 390-2. 

He put on a further 101 with Pakistan captain Babar Azam (36) before his superb innings ended when he was caught off a reverse sweep at short third man against Labuschagne.

Pakistan finally declared at 476-4, and Australia reached 5-0 by the close of play.

Azhar is due to link up with Worcestershire for the start of the 2022 campaign, and the opening LV=Insurance County Championship match with Leicestershire on April 7 at the Uptonsteel County Ground.