Azhar Ali delighted with first home hundred

Azhar Ali was a very happy man after scoring his first century at home for Somerset in the Royal London One-Day Cup victory over Essex Eagles on Friday.

The Pakistan batsman made 110 and shared a second wicket match winning partnership of 217 with Peter Trego. Reflecting on his innings he said: “Scoring a hundred in any game is very nice, but getting my first one at home for Somerset is very special.

“I built up a good partnership with Pete and I really enjoyed batting with him. For us both to get hundreds was just the icing on the cake.

“As a team we are going very well and we have got most things covered. Our bowling is doing really well, our fielding side is one of the best, if not the best, and every batsman is scoring runs for us which is a good sign.

“We are the fittest side and I think that the work that we did in the winter is really paying off.

“I just want to contribute towards my team, which I really enjoyed on Friday. I want to make sure that I do what I am asked to do by the coaches and my team mates.”

Talking about the role he played in the second wicket partnership he said: “Sometimes when things are hard I feel that the role of anchoring the innings is very important. It’s not always easy because there is pressure and you have to play in pressure conditions.”

Regarding the fans at Taunton he said: “Somerset has got a very big fan following and they come to see the cricket here, so I just wanted to score runs in front of them. My century gave me a lot of pleasure and I hope I can do the same in coming games as well.

“I feel comfortable in the dressing room and coming back at the start of this season felt like I had never been away. When I arrived last year I was given such a warm welcome. There are so many nice people around in this Club and I feel very comfortable around here.”

Azhar added: “I hope to continue with the performances like Friday, however it will be challenging later on so we have to be right up for it and keep our form, our fitness and our high intensity.”

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