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Grieving Hafeez dedicates his top innings to Phillip Hughes

‘Pakistan will bounce back’

SHARJAH: Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez was not really going to lose any sleep over missing yet another double hundred, and dedicated his top innings to Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who passed away on Thursday.

"Such things happen in cricket. Obviously, you feel disappointed when you come so close and still do not achieve it. That said, you can get out the first ball, or you can get out in the nervous nineties. I am confident that whenever I get another chance of hitting a double century, I will grab it," said a determined Hafeez.

Despite Hafez's career best 197 Pakistan were bowled out for 351. Off-spinner Mark Craig wrecked Pakistan's batting with a career best 7-94.

Brendon McCullum then added to Pakistan's woes by hitting a fiery 153 not out that took New Zealand to 249-1, just 102 away from Pakistan total.

Hafeez admitted New Zealand skipper had put Pakistan under pressure.

"There is no doubt that the McCullum knock was outstanding. He has shifted the entire pressure on us. And to be honest, our spinners also did not bowl that well today. This pitch is turning… it’s not turning much, but if you still pitch it in the right place, it becomes difficult for the batsmen to score.

“It was a bad day for us. Really, this was the first time in almost four-five weeks since we started playing Tests here that we did not win a single session during the day. So, we will have to plan better tomorrow to come back into this Test match,” said Hafeez.

Hughes' tragedy, he said, impacted both teams.

"We are all very affected by it; it’s indeed very sad. You need a few days to come out of this. But as far as cricket is concerned, we are trying our best to give it our 100 per cent."

"The atmosphere was one where all the players out in the middle took things one at a time without any loud appeals and bouncers, especially from the New Zealand side,” said he.

Hafeez hoped Pakistan will fight back.

"We have to come back with something new. We were beaten for the first time in all the three sessions this home season. Before they get too far we have to staunch the run flow," he concluded.