Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Well-rounded Hafeez helps Pakistan crush Sri Lanka

AFP, SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates

Sri Lanka’s Kusal Janith Perera bats in the third one-day international against Pakistan in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Mohammad Hafeez demonstrated his all-round skills to guide Pakistan to a convincing 113-run win over Sri Lanka in their third one-day international on Sunday.

The 33-year-old right-hander smashed a career-best unbeaten 140 to steer Pakistan to an imperious 326-5, before taking 2-35 to dismiss Sri Lanka for 213 in 44.4 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.

The win gives Pakistan a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Hafeez accounted for the dangerous Dinesh Chandimal (36) and Seekkugge Prasanna (22) in an incisive spell to thwart any comeback hopes that Sri Lanka may have harbored.

Paceman Umar Gul, playing his first match since March after a knee operation, gave Pakistan a sound start by dismissing Kusal Perera (seven) and Dimuth Karunaratne (nought) in his first spell of five overs and then had last man Lasith Malinga to finish with 3-19.

Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 10 boundaries in a 62-ball knock of 59, but fell to Shahid Afridi as the Sri Lanka innings fell apart.

Kumar Sangakkara also hit a six in his 14 before he fell to paceman Junaid Khan, who took 2-40.

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews chipped in with 44, but his dismissal signaled the end.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said he was happy with the total.

“We were happy to bat first and Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad [81] gave us an ideal platform for a winning total,” Misbah said.

Pakistan were once again helped by Hafeez and Shehzad after they were put into bat.

Hafeez, who hit 122 in the opening game in Sharjah last week, laid the foundations of the innings with opener Shehzad (81) during their second wicket stand of 160, after Pakistan lost Sharjeel Khan for two in the third over.

Hafeez, dropped by Lasith Malinga off leg-spinner Prasanna when 26, took full advantage of the chance and hit 11 boundaries and three sixes in an enthralling knock.

He took a couple off Malinga in the covers to reach his 100 off 119 deliveries and added a quickfire 75 for the fourth wicket with Misbah, who made a rapid 26-ball 40.

Shehzad set the tempo with an 89-ball knock which had six fours and two sixes. He was run out in the 31st over, but Hafeez kept one end intact as Pakistan scored 105 in the last 10 overs.

Sohaib Maqsood chipped in with a run-a-ball 21, laced with two sixes and a four. Amid the run-spree, Thisara Perera took 2-58.

The remaining two matches will be played in Abu Dhabi tomorrow and on Friday.

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