Colombo - Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali hammered Sri Lanka with an unbeaten
256-run stand as Pakistan reached 334 for one at stumps on the first day
of the second Test in Colombo on Saturday.
Haffeez will continue on 172 and Azhar is only eight runs from his third Test century.
Earlier, Hafeez roared back to form with an unbeaten century as Pakistan made Sri Lanka pay for a failed gamble.
Pakistan, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, took advantage of Sri
Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene's surprise decision to field first on a
good batting track at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Hafeez was unbeaten on 105 following a fluent 65 from fellow-opener
Taufeeq Umar as Pakistan went to tea on the opening day at a promising
217 for one.
It was Hafeez's fifth test century and the first after 10 innings since
making 143 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in December last year.
The Pakistan vice-captain put on 78 for the first wicket with Taufeeq
and 139 so far for the second with Azhar Ali, who was unbeaten on 45 at
Hafeez earned a lucky break just before tea when he was caught down the
leg-side by wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene, but television replays
confirmed Angelo Mathews had sent down a no-ball.
The century helped Hafeez overcome the disappointment of losing the
opening encounter in Galle by 209 runs, where he led Pakistan in the
absence of the banned Misbah-ul Haq.
Hafeez took time to settle down, making only 20 till lunch, before
opening out after the break with attractive strokeplay on both sides of
He had made only 12 when Taufeeq raced to his 14th Test half-century in
the 18th over with two successive boundaries off Mathews.
Taufeeq fell just when he had mastered the Sri Lankan attack, edging an intended cut off Mathews to the wicket-keeper.
Hafeez began the post-lunch session by sweeping left-arm spinner Rangana
Herath for two fours to bring up Pakistan's 100 and then drove Nuwan
Kulasekara to the point fence to reach his eighth half-century.
Azhar was content to play second fiddle at the other end as the
second-wicket pair laid the foundation for a big first innings total.
Misbah returned to lead Pakistan after missing the Galle test due to a
one-match ban for slow over-rates. Middle-order batsman Mohammad Ayub
was dropped to accommodate the skipper.
But the tourists were without frontline seamer Umar Gul, who was ruled
out with an ankle injury. He was replaced by fast bowler Aizaz Cheema.
Sri Lanka retained the same side that won the first Test to lead the three-match series.