Hafeez hits 113 as Pakistan dominate Australia

Mohammad Hafeez (on left) was a late addition to Pakistan’s squad. (AFP pic)

DUBAI: Opener Mohammad Hafeez capped his return to Test cricket with a brilliant century as Pakistan reached 199-0 on the opening day of the first match against Australia in Dubai on Sunday.

Hafeez, a late inclusion in the squad after scoring over 200 in a domestic match, was unbeaten on 113 while fellow opener Imam-ul-Haq was at 75 not out after Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.

Hafeez, whose last of 50 Test appearances came in England two years ago, brought up his tenth Test century with two boundaries off Mitchell Starc before pushing spinner Jon Holland for two.

He was let off the hook on 74 when Mitchell Marsh could not hold on to a tough chance on the boundary off the bowling of Holland after covering some 18 metres in the outfield.

Imam compiled his second Test half-century with the aid of seven boundaries and two sixes as Australia’s bowlers toiled hard in two wicketless sessions.

Australia captain Tim Paine brought on off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the ninth over, but none of the bowlers found any help from the pitch.

Australia handed Test caps to Aaron Finch, Travis Head, and Marnus Labuschagne, while Pakistan included off-spinner Bilal Asif for his first Test at the age of 33.

The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi on October 16.