Rock solid Umar makes comeback against Sri Lanka

ABU DHABI, October 19, 2011 (AFP) – Pakistani opener Taufiq Umar on Wednesday notched up a brilliant hundred in the first Test against Sri Lanka, further cementing his place after being in the wilderness for four years. Regarded as Pakistan’s best opener when he hit a hundred in his first Test, against Bangladesh in 2001, Umar further gained reputation with a solid 135 against a formidable South African attack at Cape Town in 2002.

But somehow he lost his way.

A ban on former Test captain and opener Salman Butt in spot-fixing, gave Umar another chance and he grabbed it with both hands last year.

“I am more focused now and with the help of coaches Waqar Younis and Mohsin Khan and captain Misbah-ul Haq I have performed well and hopefully carry on the good work,” said Umar.

Umar said Pakistan needed the batsmen in the middle.

“We had to spend time at the wicket and the key was the partnerships which you need in Tests. Hafeez and me first with a 100 plus partnership and then with Azhar another, we are in the driving seat right now through that.

“We keep going like this tomorrow as well.”

With his sixth Test hundred, Umar has also become the best among his generation, which followed the s