ROSEAU: Azhar Ali crawled to a second hundred in as many matches as Pakistan reached 227 for three at lunch on the second day of the third and final Test against the West Indies on Thursday.
An extended morning session at Windsor Park in Dominica following the rain interruptions of day one saw just 58 runs added in 30 overs for the loss of Younis Khan’s wicket.
Unbeaten on 85 overnight, Ali added 37 of those in getting to his 14th Test century, although his innings so far will be remembered more as a dour, tedious affair on a pitch holding no terrors whatsoever for the batsmen.
His 122 not out has so far occupied 460 minutes and 311 deliveries with two sixes and eight fours to embellish an otherwise listless effort.
Like Younis in his farewell Test match, Misbah ul Haq is already leaving an indelible mark on this fixture, although not in the way that anyone might have expected.
Coming to the crease after Younis was trapped leg-before by West Indies captain Jason Holder for 18 inside the first hour of a bright, sultry morning, the Pakistan skipper batted with exaggerated care to be unbeaten on eight off 60 deliveries at the interval.
West Indies, though, have only themselves to blame, and particularly Shane Dowrich, for not getting rid of Misbah soon after his arrival in the middle.
Having put down Babar Azam off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo the day before, the wicketkeeper was inexplicably wrong-footed and failed to hold on to a low chance before the visiting skipper had scored, to the exasperation of Holder the suffering bowler.
In pursuit of more success following the relatively swift demise of Younis, West Indies took the second new ball and although none of the bowlers strayed from a consistent, disciplined line, the benign surface and complete lack of enterprise from the opposing batsmen combined to create the unappealing spectacle of a protracted stalemate.