Hafeez ton ensures Pakistan victory

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Pakistan overcame some late nerves to win the first ODI against Sri Lanka by 11 runs in Sharjah on Wednesday, defending the 332 they made with two balls in hand after their death bowling nearly let them down.

Pakistan overcame some late nerves to win the first ODI against Sri Lanka by 11 runs in Sharjah on Wednesday, defending the 332 they made with two balls in hand after their death bowling nearly let them down.

Pakistan's score was courtesy of a 140-run stand between Mohammad Hafeez and Sohaib Maqsood, with the former making a century, while ODI debutant Sharjeel Khan recorded a nifty 64 at the top of the order.

Sri Lanka then did well early on in their chase, but never seemed to kick on with enough speed. They looked to be out of it and losing regular wickets until Sachithra Senanayake and Seekkuge Prasanna scored 42 each and put the cat amongst the pigeons.

But Sohail Tanvir and company recovered from their lose bowling, and took some good catches in the final overs, to end the resistance. Sri Lanka needed 14 runs off the final over, but Junaid Khan was on the money.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first, and the only real failure was opener Ahmed Shehzad. He made 11 before departing to Suranga Lakmal, and this left Hafeez to put on big stands first with Sharjeel and then Sohaib.

Only Prasanna went for less than five runs to the over as Hafeez and Pakistan struck 14 sixes in their innings. Lakmal and Thisara Perera took the brunt of the punishment, while Shahid Afridi smashed 34 off 12 balls at the death.

Sri Lanka's first wicket saw Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 66, before the latter departed for 33. Kusal went on to top score with 64, and despite a bunch of starts, the lack of a big score made the 300-plus chase unlikely.

<b>Pakistan:</b> Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.

<b>Sri Lanka:</b> Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal.

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