All the hardwork in domestic cricket has been for this moment: Abid Ali.


KARACHI -- Very little is worth toiling away on the Pakistan domestic circuit for, but, the fact this comes close is the greatest compliment you could pay Abid Ali. The start of an international career - that for the best part of a decade looked destined not to materialise - has been so heady it was a blessing it didn't happen in the barren desert of the Emirates. While Abid plugged away, almost sight unseen, in Pakistan, the national side attracted, at best, a handful more spectators in the UAE, their achievements met by sullen indifference from seats in stadiums that might as well have been designed never to be sat on. Here, as Abid brought up another hundred, his second in his first two Tests, it was greeted by the largest crowd this Test match has seen. That may not be saying too much, but when he finally tickled one to the onside to bring up three-figures, there were nearly as many people in the ground as the 8,000 or so that flocked to Pindi Stadium on that magical fifth day. It means this unassuming 32-year old is the unlikely recipient of the most adulation a Pakistan player has received in a home series in over a decade. The wheels for this moment had been set in motion...

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