Ali century builds on Amir haul

Azhar Ali (Getty Images)
Azhar Ali (Getty Images)

Taunton - Azhar Ali made an unbeaten century as Pakistan made 236 for four declared against Somerset in the second innings of their opening tour match in England at Taunton on Tuesday.

As soon as Ali had got to his hundred on the final day of three, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq declared to leave Somerset needing a huge 468 to win.

Given they'd been shot out for 128 in their first innings, with left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir taking an impressive three for 36, Somerset would do well to bat out for a draw second time around.

Pakistan resumed on 140 for four, with Ali 50 not out and Asad Shafiq unbeaten on 26.

Shafiq went on to complete a 76-ball fifty with seven fours.

The pair were especially severe on Somerset's spinners on Tuesday, with the 31-year-old Ali hoisting teenager Dom Bess for two huge sixes over long-on in successive balls.

Ali, with runs easy to come by, went to his 26th first-class century in 168 balls including 12 fours and two sixes.

Former spot-fixer Amir took three for 36 in 11 overs in Somerset's meagre first innings.

Somerset slumped to 128 all out in reply to Pakistan's first innings 359 for eight declared - a deficit of 231 runs.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq opted against enforcing the follow-on and at stumps, on the second day of three, the tourists held a huge lead of 371 runs.

Amir's exciting career came to a shuddering halt during a Lord's Test in 2010 when he and new-ball partner Mohammad Asif were caught bowling no-balls to order on the instructions of captain Salman Butt as part of a tabloid newspaper sting operation.

All three received five-year bans from cricket and together with sports agent Mazhar Majeed, jail terms.

Amir, who served three months in an English young offenders institute, has only featured in the game's shorter formats since his return to Pakistan duty in January.

But the 24-year-old is now back in England and could make his Test return in the first of a four-match series at Lord's on July 14.

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