A Zimbabwean fightback did not materialise on the final day of their only Test against Pakistan in Bulawayo, with the result that they were beaten by seven wickets.
Starting the day 81 runs to the good, they could only add six more before being bowled out in their second innings for 141, presenting Pakistan a target of 88, which they reached for the loss of three wickets in 21.4 overs.
Much rested on Tatenda Taibu who was unbeaten on 58 overnight but he was out early, caught by Adnan Akmal off Aizaz Cheema without adding to his overnight score.
Cheema swiftly wrapped the innings up when he had Chris Mpofu caught behind to return figures of four for 24 and an eight-for in the match overall.
The impressive Kyle Jarvis was left unbeaten on 25 while Mohammad Hafeez, unbowled on the final day which saw just 3.3 overs of Zimbabwe batting, returned four for 31 courtesy of a fine spell on day four which knocked out the middle order.
Chasing a low target was always likely to give Pakistan a few jitters but once they survived a good early spell from Kyle Jarvis, they came through relatively comfortably.
Jarvis had Taufeeq Umar caught by Taibu with a fine delivery for eight before Azhar Ali (22) and Hafeez (38) also fell, both to Ray Price.
The experience of Younus Khan, unbeaten on 14, and Misbah-ul-Haq, who made six, then steered Pakistan home.
For the first three days, Zimbabwe had pushed Pakistan hard, first scoring 412 in which Tino Mawoyo registered an unbeaten 163 and then battling hard to dismiss Pakistan for 466 in reply, Hafeez scoring 119. Then they were reduced to 69 for eight and although Taibu and Jarvis fought hard, that was where the game turned.
The two sides now play three One-Day Internationals on 8th, 11th and 14th September.
® Cricket World 2011
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