Zimbabwe v Pakistan 2nd Test Day 1: Blessing Muzarabani late burst puts Zimbabwe back in Test
Blessing Muzarabani’s three late wickets have put Zimbabwe back into this Test, after Pakistan had dominated with the bat for most of the 1st Day, at the Harare Sports.
Pakistan *268/4 (90 ov)
Close of Play Day 1: Pakistan are 268/4
Stumps in Harare!— ICC (@ICC) May 7, 2021
Pakistan lose three late wickets, but centuries from Abid Ali and Azhar Ali help them to 268/4 on day one.
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Match Report - Salim Parvez
Pakistan owe it to the two Alis
The highlight of the opening day of the 2nd Test between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare Sports Club was a 236-run stand between two centurions – Abid Ali and Azhar Ali. The tourists at close of play had reached 268-4 with the home side having made a comeback in the last hour.
Winning the toss and bat was the way Babar Azam chose to go and he was leading a Pakistan team that featured Tabish Khan, making his Test debut at the age of 36, at the expense of all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. The team management took the right option with his inclusion for the paceman had been knocking at the door of international cricket, for a number of years.
Following the loss of Imran Butt in the eight over, Abid and Azhar, settled in to lay foundation of Pakistan’s huge first innings total. On a wicket that played a touch sluggish, both the batsmen were cautious and took the score to 72-1 at lunch. In the middle session the pair added 94 runs, with both the batsmen in their 70s. With the two going so well, Zimbabwe bowlers had little choice but to keep things quiet. Azhar was the first to three figures, having faced 198 balls for it. His partner Abid needed 224 balls for the same, to reach his 3rd Test hundred.
Thus far the tall and gangly Blessing Muzarabani (3-41) has shown what a fine bowler he is set to develop into, with the use a new ball. Just when Abid and Azhar were entrenching themselves for further battle, he removed Abid for 126 and followed it up by sending back Babar and Fawad Alam, in single figures. Pakistan’s imposing 248-1 was soon 264-4, as in the last 10 overs of the day with the second new ball the batting side lost three wickets for the addition of 24 runs. Abid with 118 to his name will resume his impressive six-hour knock that till now have 17 hits to the fence.
Match Day Highlights
Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Imran Butt - 7.3 ov), 2-248 (Azhar Ali - 82.3 ov), 3-252 (Babar Azam - 84.3 ov), 4-264 (Fawad Alam - 86.5 ov)
Zimbabwe - Kevin Kasuza, Tarisai Musakanda, Regis Chakabva(wk), Brendan Taylor(c), Milton Shumba, Roy Kaia, Tendai Chisoro, Luke Jongwe, Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Pakistan - Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam(c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Tabish Khan, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan
Start Time: 08:30
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Officials: Langton Rusere, Marais Erasmus, Iknow Chabi, Forster Mutizwa, Andrew Pycroft
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