Pakistan 249 & 168-4 (Younus 76no) v
Zimbabwe 327 (Chigumbura 69, Ajmal 7-95)
First Test, Harare, day three
Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq helped Pakistan recover from a miserable start to their second innings at Harare Sports Club to leave their Test match against Zimbabwe evenly poised after three days.
Elton Chigumbura had helped the home side extend their first innings lead to 78 in the morning in spite of Saeed Ajmal’s best efforts. Tinashe Panyangara and Tendai Chatara then reduced Pakistan to 23 for three in their second innings before Misbah and Younus came to the rescue.
The pair added 116 for the fourth-wicket prior to Misbah’s departure to Shingi Masakadza well into the final session. Zimbabwe’s bowlers were all disciplined and the rate of scoring never threatened to nudge three an over but it was nevertheless a crucial partnership.
Younus was first to complete his half-century off 119 balls and ended on 76 not out, with Misbah taking 136 balls to reach his milestone.
They had come together following Chatara’s removal of Mohammad Hafeez, caught in the covers by Tino Mawoyo. Hafeez was the third Pakistani batsman to fall in less than five overs after Panyangara had dispensed with first Khurram Manzoor and then Azhar Ali, both LBW.
The innings seemed to be following a similar pattern to that of the first and so it continued as Misbah hit another half-century; the only difference being that on this occasion his partner was Younus Khan rather than Azhar Ali.
Saeed Ajmal had stolen the headlines in the morning and gave Zimbabwe perhaps a taste of what is to come in the fourth innings. He finished with figures of seven for 95 and took the last three wickets to fall, including that of Chigumbura. The all-rounder had taken Zimbabwe’s total past 300 and received useful support from Shingi Masakadza (14) before being ninth man out for 69.
Pakistan lead by 90 runs with six wickets in hand and know that a target of anything more than 200 in the fourth innings will be a tall order for Zimbabwe against Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.
© Cricket World 2013