Hafeez runs riot in Colombo
Mohammad Hafeez struck a wonderful unbeaten century as Pakistan punished Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s decision to field first on the opening day of the second Test at Colombo.
The 31-year-old opening batsman struck 18 fours and a maximum in his mammoth 172 off 281 balls after Pakistan, 1-0 down in the three-match series, had lost the toss.
Hafeez shared an opening stand of 78 with Taufeeq Umar, who compiled a rapid 65, before taking his side to 334 for one at the close thanks to an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 256 with Azhar Ali. The number three needs another eight runs to complete a third Test hundred.
Opener Taufeeq, who managed just 19 runs from two innings in the 209-run defeat at Galle, profited early on as Sri Lanka's bowling attack got little help from the track.
The left-hander smashed 12 fours in an impressive spell at the crease, bringing up his half-century from just 62 deliveries.
He eventually came unstuck in the 22nd over, edging Angelo Mathews through to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene to end his 74-ball knock.
Hafeez completed his half-century off 102 deliveries, while Azhar reached tea unbeaten on 45, including a quartet of fours.
Hafeez had two nervy moments before reaching his fifth Test century - from 159 balls. Firstly he survived a difficult chance when Nuwan Kulasekara failed to accept in the deep, then he was fortunate when a Mathews delivery which he gloved to Jayawardene was called a no-ball.
The misery continued for Sri Lanka in the final session, as Hafeez and Azhar turned the screw against the hosts.
Azhar brought up his 14th Test fifty in the 62nd over, and a little more than eight overs later the pair’s stand hit the 200-run mark.
Wicketkeeper Jayawardene made a loud shout for Hafeez to be caught behind in the 88th over but umpire Simon Taufel rejected the appeal.
Pakistan saw off the remaining 16 balls of the day without further trouble.