Tense Final Day In Store In Harare
Zimbabwe 294 & 199 (Rahat Ali 5-52) v
Pakistan 230 & 158-5 (Manzoor 54)
Second Test, Harare, day four
The second Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe remains impossible to call heading into the final day. The home side require five wickets as their bowlers led a fightback after they had collapsed in their second innings. Pakistan, meanwhile, need a further 106 runs and themselves struggled after Khurram Manzoor had departed for a fluent 54.
The visitors, however, didn’t have it all their own way early on in their second innings after Rahat Ali had helped end the Zimbabwe second innings at 199 by returning figures of five for 52. Mohammad Hafeez added another failure to an ever-lengthening list when he flicked lazily to Brian Vitori at mid-on off Tendai Chatara. Chatara then had the new batsman, Azhar Ali, bowled for a duck to make it 46 for two.
All this time, Manzoor had been playing fluently at the other end. He raced to 50 off just 62 balls after tea and added 44 for the third-wicket with Younus Khan. Unfortunately, both were removed in quick succession, with Manzoor caught off Prosper Utseya and Vitori then getting the key wicket of Younus when he was on 29.
Utseya then had Asad Shafiq caught by wicket-keeper Richmond Mutumbami to keep the match evenly poised heading into the final day. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq will surely be the key to the outcome and is unbeaten on 26. Despite sometimes being criticised by Pakistani fans for his slow scoring, he remains a high class Test batsman.
Rahat Ali was another who came in for criticism ahead of this match, but he responded in fine fashion this morning. Zimbabwe would have hoped to build a lead of over 300 but they lost regular wickets after resuming on 121 for four.
Vusi Sibanda was caught behind when he had made just 10, with remaining batsmen Malcolm Waller and Elton Chigumbura then sent packing for just three apiece. Captain Brendan Taylor followed shortly afterwards, and it was only thanks to a useful 29 from Mutumbami that the hosts managed to push the lead over 250.
© Cricket World 2013