Hafeez, Ajmal guide Pakistan to series-clinching win

ABU DHABI, December 25, 2013 (AFP) – Mohammad Hafeez notched his third hundred of the series while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal grabbed four wickets to help Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the fourth one-day international on Wednesday. Hafeez finished with 113 not out for his ninth one-day hundred as Pakistan knocked off their modest 226-run target in the 42nd over to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead ahead of Friday’s fifth and final match.

Pakistan had restricted Sri Lanka to 225 all out in 48.5 overs with Ajmal (4-39) and paceman Umar Gul (3-37) sharing the spoils.

Hafeez, who hit hundreds in Pakistan’s two wins in the first and third matches in Sharjah, pushed Tillakaratne Dilshan for his 12th boundary to complete three figures, raising his bat and blowing a kiss to his wife in the stands.

Hafeez became the sixth batsman in all one-day cricket to hit three tons in one bilateral series.

In all Hafeez hit two sixes and 12 boundaries off 119 balls, while Sohaib Maqsood finished with a 56-ball 46 not out with a six and four boundaries.

Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad (44) put Pakistan on track during a solid 84-run stand after opener Sharjeel Khan was dismissed for 13.

Shehzad, who hit a career best 124 in Pakistan’s