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Thu Apr 17 06:16:03 SAST 2014

Pakistan march on towards huge total

Reuters | 01 July, 2012 14:020 Comments
Pakistan's Azhar Ali celebrates after scoring a century during the second day of second test against Sri Lanka in Colombo July 1, 2012
Image by: Dinuka Liyanawatte / REUTERS

Opener Mohammad Hafeez missed out on a maiden double century but Pakistan continued to march towards a mammoth first innings total on the second day of the second test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Pakistan’s innings was interrupted when rain halted play for the second time in the day forcing the players to take tea early.

At the break, 21 minutes before the scheduled time, Pakistan had reached 488 for four wickets with captain Misbah-ul-Haq (29) and Asad Shafiq (one) at the crease.

The hosts will rue their decision of opting to field first after winning the toss on a pitch that has offered little help for the bowlers as Pakistan continue to add runs to their overnight score of 334 for one.

Sri Lanka managed to snap up two wickets during the curtailed afternoon session when they dismissed Younus Khan (32) and Azhar Ali (157) — both wickets falling to the spinners.

Younus’ innings was ended by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who trapped him lbw on the sweep.

Azhar equalled his career best test score of 157 but his marathon knock came to an end when he tried to reverse sweep a delivery from Suraj Randiv.

The resulting top edge was held at backward point by Nuwan Kulasekera ending a seven and a half hour innings that included only nine boundaries and spanned 295 balls.

It took Azhar an hour to move from 94 to 100 and his third test ton in the morning session.

Earlier, Pakistan, trailing 1-0 in the three-test series, lost opener Hafeez on 196, before rain forced the players off for an early lunch 10 minutes before the scheduled break.

Hafeez, unbeaten on 172 overnight, attempted a sweep shot against Herath but missed the line of the ball and had his leg stump uprooted.

Right-handed Hafeez, who hit 20 fours and a six during his 331-ball knock, departed after batting for more than seven hours and his exit ended a second-wicket stand of 287 with Azhar.

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Pakistan march on towards huge total

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