Misbah proud of Gul comeback


All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez struck an outstanding century and took two key wickets, as Pakistan sealed a comfortable 113-run victory – and two-one series lead – over Sri Lanka.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq delighted in an outstanding comeback from fast bowler Umar Gul, who carried Pakistan to a straightforward 113-run victory over Sri Lanka in Sunday's third ODI at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Gul had not played cricket since March in the wake a knee injury, but marked an outstanding return with figures of three for 19, complementing fellow new-ball bowler Junaid Khan superbly.

Pakistan had earlier romped to a formidable total of 326 for five on the back of a fine century from Mohammad Hafeez and a telling half-ton from opener Ahmed Shehzad, with Sri Lanka's reply later slipping to an insufficient 213 all out in 44.4 overs.

"I am really happy with the performance. We were really positive from the start, everyone chipped in, especially Shehzad and Hafeez," said Misbah. "Umar was excellent, we were not taking wickets with the new ball, he set the tone for us. The spinners were excellent as well."

The right-handed Hafeez was named Man of the Match after welcoming a career-best 140 not out, which featured 11 boundaries and three sixes, spanning a mere 136 deliveries – and surpassing the unbeaten 139 completed against Zimbabwe in Harare two years and three months ago.

"Thanks to God as well as to my supporters, as well as my critics, who make me perform all the time," added Hafeez.

"I was planning not to get bogged down. I was looking to play technical shots. Credit to Shehzad. He got going in the partnership and that gave the remaining batsmen the momentum. Our bowling was outstanding as well."

The fourth ODI will get underway at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The same venue will host the final fixture two days later. A three-Test series will follow.