SHARJAH: Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez completed a fighting hundred to keep England at bay on the fourth day of the third and final Test in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Hafeez, 35, was unbeaten on 145 for his ninth hundred as Pakistan reached 229-4 at lunch, an overall lead of 157.
With Hafeez was skipper Misbah-ul-Haq on 31 as Pakistan sought to keep their 1-0 series lead intact or even force another win.
Hafeez has so far hit 15 boundaries and three sixes during his 246-ball stay at the crease to help Pakistan consolidate after conceding a 72-run first innings lead.
Pakistan made 234 in their first innings while England replied with 306.
Hafeez survived some anxious moments as leg-spinner Adil Rashid trapped him in front of the wicket with the first ball of the day, after Pakistan resumed on 146-3.
England challenged New Zealand umpire Chris Gaffaney´s not out decision but television umpire Paul Reiffel of Australia upheld the verdict.
One ball later Hafeez charged down the wicket against a googly from Rashid but missed the ball completely. However wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow missed a stumping chance and the ball went for four byes.
Hafeez swept Rashid in the next over for a single to reach his century off 169 balls, his second at the Sharjah venue.
At the other end Pakistan lost nightwatchman Rahat Ali, caught off paceman James Anderson without scoring. Anderson so far has figures of 2-45. …Agencies