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December 24, 2019

Azhar Ali delighted after thumping win

Sports

December 24, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali on Monday was extremely happy with the way his charges staged a smart fightback to win the second Test against Sri Lanka and the two-match series 1-0 here at the National Stadium.

“It’s a moment of great happiness that Pakistan won this series. It was very important series as it was being held after a long time on our home soil,” Azhar Ali told a news conference after his team’s superb series win, the first on home soil after 13 long years.

“Individually those who performed are very happy but team’s performance is more counted and its great that the players put in whenever needed their support and contributed well in the collective cause,” Azhar said.

“When we got out on 191 in our first innings bowlers made their full effort and then the opening stand was also splendid. I was struggling myself since long before I scored that hundred and will try to continue it,” the skipper said.

Azhar hit century in his 14th Test innings and the first in 2019. Responding to a question about Bangladesh’s stance on Pakistan tour, Azhar said that he did not know why Bangladesh don’t want to come for a Test series.

“There is no excuse. The ICC must step in. Several teams have come, PSL has been conducted here, World XI have come and current international cricketers have come here. Now Sri Lanka are leaving after playing a couple of Tests here. I don’t know, if Asian nations don’t support each other then where will the things go,” Azhar observed.

“We already play less Test cricket and so does Bangladesh. In this situation we must support each. I will say that ICC must step in. Everything is running quite smoothly, crowd is coming, quality cricket had been seen and there is no excuse,” he said.

About his own form, Azhar said he felt much more comfortable now after hitting a century. “Bad patches come in one’s career. The credit goes to openers who set a platform and such innings are career-changing. This also supported me and I utilised the situation and luck favoured me. I feel well and will try to continue it,” he said.

Azhar said that there was still room for improvement. “Its not the case that with a single Test series win all our issues will be resolved. There is always room for improvement. We have new bowling attack, it will need more experience,” he said.