Azhar Ali notched a brilliant hundred to guide Pakistan to 193-3 on the third day of the third and final Test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old edged medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme through the slips for his ninth boundary to complete his 15th Test century as Pakistan closed to 81 runs behind New Zealand’s first innings total of 274.

Azhar, whose last hundred was against the West Indies in Dominica in May last year, took 210 balls to reach the three-figure mark.

Resuming at 139-3, Azhar hit Trent Boult for a boundary off the first ball of the day and then hit spinner Ajaz Patel for another to enter the eighties.

Azhar has so far added 108 for the unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Asad Shafiq who is 37 not out.

The series is currently tied at 1-1. New Zealand won the first Test by four runs in Abu Dhabi while Pakistan bounced back with an innings and 16-run win in the second Test in Dubai.