Hafeez stars for Pakistan

2012-06-30 14:11

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 the break.

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 the wicket.

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.