Hafeez continues prolific Test form

April 30, 2015

Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez continued his rich vein of form in Test cricket by hitting his third hundred in consecutive Test in Khulna on Wednesday. The right-hander hit an unbeaten 137 to put Pakistan in a strong position on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh. Hafeez has now become the sixth Pakistani batsmen to hit hundred in three consecutive Tests after Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Shoaib Mohammad, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan.
His previous four Test innings yielded him 96, 101 not out, 197, and 24 against New Zealand in UAE last November.
Hafeez was centre of all criticism after he scored just eight runs in three preceding one-day internationals, which Pakistan lost all in humiliating manner.
He seemed to have got back his rhythm in the Twenty20 international with a score of 26 off 18 balls, though it could change the fortune of his struggling Pakistan team.
He needed a touch of luck to continue his prolific Test form as the right-hander was given out on 13 off left-arm spinner Taijul Islam only for the third umpire to overturn the decision after a review.
Since then he never looked
to be troubled by any Bangladeshi bowlers that left the hosts wondering that Test cricket was a different ball game.
He hit 12 boundaries and two sixes on his way to eighth Test century, which was completed with a nice flick past the midwicket boundary off paceman Rubel Hossain.
‘Hafeez did very well with his approach and I will give him the full credit for his outstanding performance,’ Pakistan bowling coach Mustaq Ahmed told the reporters after the end of day’s play.
‘The idea today was to avoid losing wickets and get the flow of runs as much as we can. This wicket requires some caution but if you are not positive as well as not attacking the bowlers there are no scoring option.
‘Hafeez is a natural stroke maker but the pitch was slow and difficult to bat on and still he managed to get his runs, which was awesome,’ he said.
Hafeez gave the Bangladeshi bowlers a hard time as they were unable to find the right area to bowl to him and rather bowled in his favoured zone. And he profited off anything bowled short of length.
The batsman welcomed Tigers debutant paceman Mohammad Shahid to Test cricket with a back-foot punch through the covers in his first over and picked up boundaries from the spinners in similar fashion in the later part of the innings.
Both the pacers and spinners bowled to his strength with the spinners pitching it short while the pacers regularly bowled onto his pads that was punished at will.

-With New Age input

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