COLOMBO: Pakistan piled up 334 runs for only one wicket on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka here at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground on Saturday.
Batting at the crease were Mohammad Hafeez on 172 and Azhar Ali on 92 while Taufiq Umar, the only batsman dismissed on the day, made 65.
Pakistan, who lost the first Test in Galle by 209 runs, took advantage of Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene's surprise decision to field first on a good batting track at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Hafeez hit 18 fours and a six during his unbeaten day-long innings which was his fifth hundred and the first against Sri Lanka in Test cricket.
This was Hafeez’s highest Test score, surpassing 143 against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2011-12.
The Pakistan vice-captain put on 256 runs for the unbroken second wicket with Azhar Ali after sharing an opening stand of 78 with Taufeeq Umar (65).
It was the first time since making 379-4 against India in Faisalabad in 2006 that Pakistan scored over 300 runs on the first day of a Test match.
The previous second wicket partnership record in Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test cricket was 217 made by Sidath Wettimuny and Roy Dias at Faisalabad in 1981-82.
Azhar’s 187-ball patient innings was laced with only six boundaries while Taufiq smashed 12 fours in his breezy innings of 74 balls.