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Pak vs NZ: Hafeez ton anchors Pakistan to 186-3 at tea, Day 1, 3rd test

India TV News Desk 26 Nov 2014, 16:59:19 PM IST
India TV News Desk

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Fit-again Mohammad Hafeez hit an aggressive century in anchoring Pakistan to 186-3 at tea in the third and final test as veteran allrounder Daniel Vettori made a successful return to New Zealand on Wednesday.

Hafeez, who missed the drawn second test due to a hamstring injury, was unbeaten on 123 off 158 balls with 17 fours and two sixes on day one.

Vettori, recalled injury-free for his first test in more than two years, trapped the in-form Younis Khan for 5.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on the flattest pitch of the three used in the United Arab Emirates, and offspinner Mark Craig (2-44) dismissed Azhar Ali (39) and Shan Masood (12) on either side of lunch, in sessions dominated by Hafeez.

He showed no sign of fatigue from his flying visit to England, where he was tested for a suspect bowling action after he was reported by match officials following Pakistan's win in the first test by 248 runs at Abu Dhabi.

Hafeez, strong on both sides of the wicket, began with a drive through point off Trent Boult's first ball of the match.

Craig clean-bowled left-handed Masood in his first over at 44-1.

Hafeez added another 86 runs for the second wicket before Ali needlessly poked at Craig's delivery and edged it to Ross Taylor in the slips at 131-2.

Hafeez raised his second straight hundred off 130 balls, to go along with his unbeaten 101 in the first test, when he pulled and cut Craig for two successive boundaries then turning the offspinner to square leg for a single.

New Zealand recalled Vettori in a bid to exploit the flat pitch to square the series. He was in the last test in which New Zealand played three specialist spinners, in 1998 in Sri Lanka.

Vettori, whose last test was in July 2012, became the sole holder of New Zealand's most test caps in his 112th match, leaving behind former captain Stephen Fleming.

In his fourth over, the 35-year-old Vettori claiming Khan, who went for an unsuccessful television referral.

Pakistan made two changes with Hafeez returning to replace Taufeeq Umar, and fast bowler Ehsan Adil ruled out due to a side strain to make way for Mohammad Talha. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said at the toss that Hafeez would continue to bowl, as the result of the examination of his action was yet to come.