COLOMBO: Mohammad Hafeez overcame his lean start to the tour of Sri Lanka by carving out a career best 172 not out as Pakistan reached an impressive 334-1 at close on the first day of the second Test today.
Hafeez, who started off on a cautious note with only 20 runs in the morning, shifted gears in the afternoon to score 80 off 86 balls and reach his century with 12 fours. By the close he had hit 18 fours and one six in his 281-balls innings.
Azhar Ali (92 not out) kept Hafeez company, the duo having added 256 runs for the unbroken second wicket after batting through the final two sessions. Sri Lanka thought they had dismissed Hafeez on 101 in the over before the tea break when the batsman gloved a short delivery from seamer Angelo Mathews to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene while attempting a pull shot. But umpire Ian Gould ruled it as a no-ball after consulting with the TV umpire.
Earlier, opener Taufeeq Umar (65) hit an aggressive half-century and took the attack to the bowlers after Pakistan were put in to bat. The left-hander raced
away to his half-century off 62 balls with the aid of
eight fours and looked good for a hundred before he
was out caught behind. Umar attempted to cut Mathews but clipped a fine edge to wicketkeeper Jayawardene, who was standing up to the stumps.