Pakistan have done enough - Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez expects Pakistan’s first-innings lead to be decisive in the opening Test against England in Dubai.
From his experience of two Tests at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium - a high-scoring draw with South Africa and comfortable win over Sri Lanka - Hafeez believes a three-figure first-innings lead will be tough to turn around.
“We have played two games here, one against South Africa and one against Sri Lanka, but to be really honest it gets tough for the batsmen to score more runs,” he said.
“So we’re really pleased that we have a lead at the moment, of (around) 100. Anything above 100 will be really nice.”
Hafeez put on 114 for Pakistan’s opening wicket with Taufeeq Umar and was on course for three figures until he missed a sweep at Graeme Swann to be lbw for 88.
“That was a bad shot but this is how you learn. I was really happy with my own performance and especially with the team,” he added.
“We’re happy with the effort of the batsmen because credit goes to England. They really bowled well, their seamers really bowled well on that right, tight length. We had to stretch ourselves to get some runs.
“We’re in a good position because the conditions at the moment have a little bit of turn, as we saw when Swann got some, so I think we’re in a good position and can dominate a bit from here.
“The conditions are really tough to score runs in because the outfield is not very fast. Most of the time when you hit the ball hard and it (normally) goes to the boundary, you only get two or three."
Pakistan, who resumed on 42 without loss this morning, scored at only 2.7 runs an over today, which Hafeez put down to the quality of England’s bowling.
“We were expecting a bit more, but they bowled really well today,” he said. “Their fast bowlers’ lines were very good, and Swann bowled very well as well. But we’re still in a good position to really dominate this game.”
England’s hopes of bowling Pakistan out in the final innings will rest on one spinner and three seamers after they stuck with a tried and trusted balance to their attack.
“This is the selection they made. They must have some plan, picking three fast bowlers in the side,” Hafeez added. “But I think we as a bowling attack; we have more variety, and we’re very happy to have a [slow] left-armer with us.”