Babar Azam scored a second successive century to lift Pakistan to 219 for 9 in the second day-night international against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The 23-year-old knocked a fighting 133-ball 101 and added an invaluable 109 in a seventh-wicket stand with Shadab Khan (52 not out) after Pakistan were struggling at 101 for 6 on a sluggish Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.
Azam followed up his 103 which anchored Pakistan’s 83-run win in the first game in Dubai on Friday, giving them a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, found the going tough as they lost half the side at the end of 20 overs for just 79, but Azam and Shadab led the fightback.
Azam brought up his seventh one-day hundred off 130 balls — his fourth this year — with a sharp double in the 49th over.
Shadab, who scored 14 not out in his only previous innings, played a support role during which he hit just one boundary off 68 balls.
Sri Lankan new-ball bowlers Lahiru Gamage (4-57) and Suranga Lakmal (1-42) made early inroads with three wickets inside first power-play of ten overs.
Gamage had Fakhar Zaman dismissed for 11 and Mohammad Hafeez for eight while Lakmal dismissed out-of-form Ahmed Shehzad for eight.
Medium pacer Thisara Perera (2-34) then struck twice, removing Shoaib Malik (11) and Sarfraz Ahmed (five) to leave Pakistan in a spot of bother.
Azam added 22 for the sixth wicket with Imad Wasim (ten) before his stand with Shadab gave Pakistan’s total some respectability.