Hafeez ton helps set tough target

Congleton Guardian: Mohammed Hafeez pushed to 322 for five against Sri Lanka Mohammed Hafeez pushed to 322 for five against Sri Lanka

Mohammad Hafeez's seventh one-day international century helped Pakistan to 322 for five in their series opener against Sri Lanka in Sharjah.

Hafeez hit 122 from 129 balls, including four sixes and seven fours, before he was caught attempting a tired thrash at Suranga Lakmal in the final over.

Hafeez combined in a 140-run stand with Sohaib Maqsood (73) for the third wicket after opener Sharjeel Khan (61) reached a half-century on his debut.

Shahid Afridi ensured a menacing total in the late overs when he blasted 34 off 12 balls.

Lakmal (two for 73) made an early breakthrough when Ahmed Shehzad was trapped lbw for 11 in the seventh over.

That brought Hafeez to the crease and with Khan they added 83 with the debutant playing the lead role.

Khan crashed three sixes in his run-a-ball 61 before he was plucked on the boundary edge off leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna.

The backbone of the innings was then set by Maqsood and Hafeez, who brought up his century by hitting Lakmal straight down the ground for six from his 111th ball.

The veteran was perhaps at fault for Maqsood's departure as he failed to keep up with his request for a second run, sending him back to be run-out.

That only prompted Afridi's late fireworks, clearing the ropes three times in his short stay, to leave Sri Lanka with a tough chase.

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