Pakistan revel as Sri Lanka’s gamble misfires
Mohammad Hafeez roared back to form with a career-best 172 not out as
Pakistan made Sri Lanka pay for a failed gamble in the second Test in
Colombo on Saturday.
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 led the Pakistani charge with his fifth Test century -- and
the first after 10 innings -- as the tourists moved to a commanding 334
for one by stumps on the opening day.
The Pakistan vice-captain has put on 256 runs for the unbroken second
wicket with Azhar Ali (92 not out) after sharing an opening stand of 78
with Taufeeq Umar (65).
It was the first time since making 379-4 against India in Faisalabad
in 2006 that Pakistan scored over 300 runs on the first day of a Test
The century helped Hafeez overcome the disappointment of losing the
first Test in Galle by 209 runs, where he led Pakistan in the absence of
the banned Misbah-ul Haq.
The all-rounder had been under pressure to retain his place in the
Test side after a barren run of 10 innings since making his previous
best of 143 against Bangladesh in Chittagong last year.
But Hafeez answered his critics in style, smashing 18 boundaries and
a six off Suraj Randiv that sailed over the mid-wicket fence.
Azhar was content to play second fiddle at the other end, scoring
just six fours, as the second-wicket pair laid the foundation for a big
first innings total.
Azhar will resume on Monday needing just eight runs to complete his
third Test century.
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.
When Hafeez was on 171, umpire Simon Taufel turned down Rangana
Herath’s confident appeal for a catch at the wicket even as television
replays indicated the ball may have gone off the bat.
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 scored only 12 when Taufeeq raced to his 14th Test
half-century in the 18th over with two successive boundaries off
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 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.
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
Sri Lanka retained the same side that won the first Test to take the
lead in the three-match series. - AFP
PAKISTAN – 1ST INNINGS
Mohammad Hafeez not out 172
Taufeeq Umar c P. Jayawardene b Mathews 65
Azhar Ali not out 92
Extras (lb3, nb2) 05
Total (for one wkts, 90 overs) 334
Fall of wicket: 1-78 (Taufeeq)
Bowling: Kulasekara 20-4-60-0,
Mathews 12-1-45-1 (nb1)
Pradeep 13-3-52-0 (nb1)