COLOMBO: Azhar Ali smashed 157 and Mohammad Hafeez narrowly missed a double century but rain dampened Pakistan’s hopes of forcing a result over hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test.
Hafeez fell for 196 and Azhar equalled his highest score as the tourists moved from their overnight position of 334 for one to 488 for four on a rain-hit second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
Heavy showers on either side of lunch and just before tea allowed just 44 overs to be bowled in the day, in which Pakistan scored 154 runs.
The entire evening session was washed out, and with more rain forecast over the next three days, Pakistan face a tough task to level the three-match series after losing the first Test in Galle by 209 runs.
Azhar, who put on 287 for the second wicket with Hafeez, added 70 for the third with Younus Khan (32) and 51 for the fourth with captain Misbahul Haq (29 not out).
The overnight pair of Hafeez and Azhar toned down their aggressive approach on the second morning to frustrate an attack looking for quick wickets to stem the flow of runs.
The partnership between Hafeez and Azhar was the highest against Sri Lanka on their home soil for any wicket, surpassing the 258 by Australians Mike Hussey and Shaun Marsh at Pallekele last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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