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Hafeez guides Pakistan to victory

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates - Mohammad Hafeez demonstrated his all-round skills to guide Pakistan to a convincing 113-run win over Sri Lanka in the third day-night international on Sunday.

The 33-year-old right-hander smashed a career best unbeaten 140 to steer Pakistan to an imperious 5-326 before Hafeez the bowler took 2-35 to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 213 in 44.4 overs at Sharjah stadium.

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 hopes Sri Lanka had harboured.

Paceman Umar Gul, playing his first match since March this year 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 the last man Lasith Malinga to finish with 3-19.

Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan hit ten boundaries in an aggressive 62-ball knock of 59 but fell to Shahid Afridi as the Sri Lankan innings fell apart.

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

Skipper Angelo Mathews chipped in with 44 but his dismissal signalled the end.

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

"I am really happy at this win," said Misbah. "We were happy to bat first and Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad (81) gave us an ideal platform for a winning total."

Mathews rued his team's batting failure.

"We chased well in the first two matches. There was an ideal opportunity today as well but unfortunately we didn't bat well right from the start," said Mathews.