Millennium Post

Hafeez hundred helps Pak thump England

Mohammad Hafeez hit a sparkling century to help Pakistan beat England by six wickets in the first day-night international at Abu Dhabi today, taking a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

The 35-year-old finished with an unbeaten 130-ball 102 to steer Pakistan to the modest target of 217 in 43.4 overs, carrying his batting form from the preceding 2-0 Test series win last week into the limited-overs clash. Hafeez added 106 for the unbroken fifth wicket stand with Babar Azam (62 not out) and 70 for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik (26). Eoin Morgan and James Taylor hit half centuries for England in a below-par total of 216 all out in 49.4 overs. Pakistan, just like England, were rattled at the start, as left-arm paceman Reece Topley (3-26) dismissed Azhar Ali (eight), Bilal Asif (two) and Younis Khan (nine) to leave Pakistan at 41-3. Younis, who before the start of the match announced his retirement from one-day cricket, finished his career with 7,249 runs in 265 matches. Hafeez and Malik steadied Pakistan to 111 before Malik fell to a reckless shot off spinner Moeen Ali. Malik, when ten, completed 6,000 one-day runs in his 229th match. He is the ninth Pakistani batsman to score 6,000 or more one-day runs. Hafeez, who hit 151 in the third Test in Sharjah last week, completed his tenth one-day century off 127 balls. He hit ten boundaries and a six.
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