Azhar Ali’s half-century Opener Azhar Ali scored a fighting half-century to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive in the third and final Test against the West Indies in Sharjah on Wednesday.
At lunch on day four, Ali was unbeaten on 80 and with him Mohammad Nawaz 11 not out as Pakistan were 159-5, a lead of 103 runs with five wickets intact.
Pakistan are chasing a 3-0 series whitewash and Ali took the fight to the West Indian bowlers during his pugnacious, 204-ball knock, hitting five boundaries and a six.
Ali, who scored a career-best 302 in the first Test in Dubai, reached his 22nd half century with a boundary off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, and he stood firm despite losing his overnight partner Sarfraz Ahmed for 42.
Pakistan, trailing by 56 after the first innings, lost Ahmed in the morning session after resuming at a precarious 87-4, just 31 ahead and in danger of defeat.
Ahmed hit four boundaries during an enterprising innings before he chased a wide delivery from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and edged it to Darren Bravo at slip.
Ali and Ahmed added an invaluable 86 runs for the fifth wicket after Pakistan’s middle order slumped on the third day, with West Indian skipper Jason Holder taking three wickets.
Since Ahmed’s fall, Nawaz helped Ali add another 25 runs as Pakistan look to build a big enough lead to avoid defeat. Holder is the best West Indian bowler with 3-26.
Pakistan lead the three-match series 2-0 after winning the first Test in Dubai by 56 runs and second by 133 runs in Abu Dhabi.