Pakistan 334-1 (Hafeez 172no) v
Second Test, SSC, day one
Pakistan’s top three made the most of a lifeless pitch at the SSC in Colombo to end the opening day of their second Test against Sri Lanka on 334 for one. Mohammad Hafeez took the opportunity to play himself back into form, and ended unbeaten on 172, after Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene had inserted the visitors in an effort to exploit their fragile batting line-up.
It was something he was soon to regret as Taufeeq Umar and Hafeez put on 78 inside the first 22 overs with hardly a single scary moment along the way. Umar made the lion’s share of the runs, hitting 65 from just 74 balls, as he allowed his vice-captain to find his form before falling to Angelo Mathews half an hour before lunch to give Sri Lanka what would turn out to be their only success of the day.
The home side’s spin pairing of Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv, who had proved so successful in demolishing Pakistan at Galle, found the going tough and returned combined figures of none for 165 from 44 overs as Hafeez was joined by Azhar Ali to add an unbroken 256 for the second wicket.
Hafeez reached his fifth Test century shortly before tea, with Ali bringing up his half-century shortly after the interval. He would go on to end the day eight short of his third Test hundred, while Hafeez went past 150 for the first time in his career and ended with a career-best 172. Jayawardene, meanwhile, will be left to reflect on his decision earlier in the day which has left Sri Lanka already playing for a draw with four days still to go.
© Cricket World 2012
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