News Desk: Azam made a defiant 119 to thwart a Sri Lankan spin attack led by Prabath Jayasuriya on day two of an evenly poised first Test on Sunday.
Azam single-handedly took the tourists to just four runs short of Sri Lanka's 222 as he put on a 70-run tenth-wicket stand with Naseem Shah, who made five not out from 52 balls, in Galle.
Sri Lanka were 36 for one at stumps after skipper Dimuth Karunaratne fell lbw to left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, for 16.
"I have not seen an innings like that for a long time," batting coach Mohammed Yousuf said of Azam's knock.
"To be under so much pressure and the ball turning a lot, he played with a lot of patience and took the tailenders along.
"A knock with so much patience, on a difficult track and especially the way he handled Jayasuriya. I am speechless."
Azam got help from the lower-order batters including Yasir Shah (18), Hasan Ali (17) and Naseem, as Pakistan managed 133 runs from the final three wickets.