New Delhi: Pakistani opener Azhar Ali on Friday created history by becoming the first batsman to hit a triple century in day-night Test, during second day's play of Pakistan-West Indies first Test at Dubai.
But the big celebration arrived much earlier in the day, when the 31-year-old celebrated his double hundred, imitating iconic Pakistan batsman and his captain Misbah-ul-Haq at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Just like his skipper, Ali performed a push-up routine, boasting off his prowess once he reached the 200-run mark. Once he reached 300-run mark, Misbah – who was at the non-striker's end – declared the innings on 579/3. Ali batted through the innings, from first ball to the last, in their play of 155.3 overs.
Azhar thus became the fourth Pakistani, after Hanif Mohammad, Inzamam-ul-Haq – who was watching the proceedings from the stands, and Younis Khan, to hit a triple-ton in Test cricket.
He, in the process, became the 10th Pakistani batsman to complete 4000 Test runs. And he certainly looked good to score a triple hundred. Last time a Pakistan Test opener scored a 300 was way back in 1958.
In Pakistan's tour of England in July this year, 42-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq impressed everyone with a push-up round, after a 154-run stay in centre.
It was a sight never seen before in cricket field, and was not expected from an ageing player. But, just like a infectious smile, the Pakistani skipper started a trend, to show vitality and endurance – with special relevance to Test cricket which 'test' a player's staying power.
And who else to follow the trend than the imperious Azhar, who has shown the gumption to become the next batting star from Pakistan.
Ali made his debut in 2010 against Australia at Lords, in first match of the the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Series. And has since played 49 matches, scoring 10 centuries.
His previous highest score in Test was a 226 against Bangladesh in Dhaka last year, and during the England series earlier this year, he scored a brilliant 139 at Birmingham.
But this innings is special, for so many reasons. He gifted the Pakistani team just the perfect gift as they play their 400th Test, and which is marked by Asia's first day-night Test.
The match is also his 50th Test match.