Ali pilots Pakistan to victory

Azhar Ali hit a brilliant hundred as Pakistan pulled off a thrilling win in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday, levelling the series 1-1.

Set a daunting 302 to win in a possible 59 overs, Pakistan owed their successful chase to Ali’s fifth Test century (103) as he and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Misbah, who finished with 68 not out, hit the winning single with nine balls to spare in fading light.

Ali, ironically dropped for the first two Tests, hit paceman Suranga Lakmal for a boundary, then twice took two to reach his hundred off 133 balls. He hit six boundaries before falling caught behind with just seven needed to win. Pakistan’s chances seemed to have faded away at 107-3 at tea, as they needed 195 in the last 35 overs. But Ali upped the tempo during a rapid 89-run partnership in 14.5 overs with Sarfraz Ahmed (48).

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