Hafeez ton lifts Pakistan

2014-11-26 15:47
Mohammad Hafeez (File)

Sharjah - Opener Mohammad Hafeez has struck a dominating century to lift Pakistan to 281-3 in the third and final Test against New Zealand in Sharjah on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old anchored Pakistan's innings with an unbeaten 178 -- his seventh Test hundred and second in the series -- as Pakistan dominated the day after winning a crucial toss and deciding to bat on a flat, grass-less Sharjah stadium pitch.

Hafeez added an invaluable 121 for the fourth wicket with skipper Misbah-ul Haq who was not out on a chancy 38 and 87 for the second wicket with Azhar Ali (39).

It was an aggressive knock during which Hafeez drove and pulled with authority, clobbering 23 boundaries and three sixes.

Misbah, batting in his usual cautious style, benefitted from a dropped catch on 20 when wicket-keeper BJ Watling failed to hold an edge off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

New Zealand's three-spinner attack failed to get any spin with Mark Craig getting 2-67 and recalled Daniel Vettori 1-28.

New Zealand, seeking to level the three-match series after losing the first in Abu Dhabi by 248 runs and drawing the second in Dubai, hit back in the second session by dismissing Ali and in-form Younis Khan for five.

Pakistan were comfortably placed at 82-1 at lunch but Ali became off-spinner Craig's second wicket, caught in the slip off a loose shot.

Ali said Hafeez was focused even before the Test.

"He came back from England a day before the Test," said Ali of Hafeez who had a bio-mechanical analysis of his bowling action reported during the first Test. "That did not deter him and he played a brilliant knock.

"We won the toss but needed to score big and we are on course for that, a total of 500 or above would help us dictate terms."

Younis, who hit three hundreds in Pakistan's 2-0 rout of Australia last month and one more in the first Test of this series, was trapped leg-before by left-armer Vettori.

Vettori, recalled in place of Jimmy Neehsam, is playing his 112th match for New Zealand, becoming his country's most capped player beating Stephen Fleming who played 111.

Vettori also played one Test for an ICC World XI in 2005.

He was accorded a guard of honour by New Zealand players as he entered the field.

Hafeez reached his hundred with a couple of boundaries and a single, reaching the mark in 130 balls aided with 14 boundaries and two sixes.

In the first session, Pakistan had a confident start of 44 before Craig bowled Shan Masood for 12.

Pakistan made two changes from the Dubai Test line-up, dropping out-of-form opener Taufeeq Umar and Ehsan Adil, who suffered a side-muscle strain. They brought in Hafeez and paceman Mohammad Talha.

New Zealand brought Vettori, playing his first Test for 28 months, replacing Jimmy Neesham.

Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0, after winning the first Test in Abu Dhabi and drawing the second in Dubai.

Read more on:    mohammad hafeez  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.