Pakistan’s Azhar Ali and Australia’s David Warner dominated the third day’s play at Melbourne as part of the Boxing Day Test. Here are some interesting stats at the end of the third day’s play.
Azhar Ali scored a magnificent, unbeaten 205. This has made him the first Pakistani batsman to slam more than one 200 plus in a calendar year. Back in October, he had blasted an unbeaten 302 in the day-night Test against West Indies.
By scoring 205 not out, Azhar has become the first batsman from Pakistan to hit a double hundred in Tests in Australia. The previous best was 158 by Majid Khan at the same venue during the 1972-73 season.
Azhar’s 205 not out is now the highest by a visiting opener at Melbourne. He overtook Virender Sehwag, who hit the famous 195 in 2003-04. Also, this is only the third double hundred by an opener in Melbourne. The other two were registered by Justin Langer and Bill Lawry.
Azhar has now become the sixth opener in Test cricket to hit at least two double hundreds in a calendar year. Sehwag was the previous opener to have achieved the feat. He made 201 not out at Galle and 319 at Chennai in 2008. The openers in the list are South Africa’s Graeme Smith, Sri Lanka’s Marvan Atapattu, West Indies’ Gordon Greenidge and New Zealand’s Glenn Turner.
Azhar is now the fourth overseas batsman to hit a double hundred at the MCG, and the first in 32 years. Viv Richards was the last batsman to do so. He made 208 back in 1984.
Azhar has now become the fourth overseas opener to smash a double hundred in Australia. All have been scored at different venues. Alastair Cook made 235 not out at Brisbane in November 2010, Ravi Shastri made 206 at Sydney in 1992 and Eddie Barlow hit 201 at Adelaide in 1964.
Azhar has so far totalled 1155 in 2016. The record for most Test runs in a calendar year is held by Mohammad Yousuf's 1788 follwed by Younis Khan's 1179. Both notched up the numbers in 2006.
Azhar and Sohail Khan added 118 for the eight wicket. This is the highest for Pakistan for the eighth wicket against Australia.
For the first time in 13 years, openers from both sides have scored a hundred in the MCG Test. While Azhar and Warner did it this time, back in 2003, Sehwag and Matthew Hayden blasted hundreds.
Before the start of the MCG Test, David Warner was averaging only 24.22 with a best of 62. During the course of the innings, Warner also crossed 5000 Test runs. He is now the sixth fastest from Australia to do so.
Pakistan had not registered a single 400-plus total in their last five Test series’ in Australia. They have already crossed 400 twice in three innings on the tour – 450 at Gabba and 443 for 9 at Melbourne in the ongoing match.
--By A Cricket Stasman