BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th August, 2016) - Novice opener Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali shared an unbroken stand of 154 after Pakistan lost Mohammad Hafeez without a run on the board in the third Test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday. At tea, the recalled Aslam was a Test-best 69 not out and Azhar, dropped twice, 72 not out in a total of 154 for one. That left Pakistan 143 runs behind England's first innings 297.
Pakistan were none for one just four balls into their innings on Thursday when Hafeez fell for a duck after lazily guiding a short James Anderson delivery to Gary Ballance at point. The tourists had seen Sohail Khan, one of their two changes from the side beaten by 330 runs in the second Test at Old Trafford as England levelled the four-match series at 1-1, take five wickets on Wednesday. Now all eyes were on Aslam, also playing just his third Test, after the 20-year-old had been brought in to replace struggling opener Shan Masood.
Left-hander Aslam steered Stuart Broad wide of gully for the first four of Pakistan's innings in the fifth over. His only prior innings this tour had seen Aslam make just 17 against Worcestershire last week in a two-day warm-up match. Yet the well-organised opener played with a maturity belying his years in both attack and defence.