Harare – Pakistan took command of the first test against Zimbabwe after four-wicket hauls from Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi helped bowl the hosts out for 176.
Hasan and Afridi returned 4/43 and 4/53 respectively to blunt Zimbabwe’s batting line-up, even as the debutant Roy Kaia scored a fighting 48 to boost the total. Abid Ali and Imran Butt, the Pakistan opener, added a quickfire 103 in the final session to reduce the deficit to 73 runs by stumps.
Zimbabwe opted to bat in the morning, but struggled against Pakistan’s pacers. Hasan broke through in the very first over, seeing off Kevin Kasuza for nought. Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, the rest of their batsmen didn’t fare much better. Prince Masvaure, the other opener, was dismissed by Shaheen for a 30-ball 11, while Tarasai Musakanda (14) and Brendan Taylor (5) failed to build the partnership that Zimbabwe desperately needed.
The pressure racked up on the middle order as Zimbabwe were reduced to 30/4 in 18.2 overs. It was then that Milton Shumba and Kaia combined forces to help Zimbabwe reach a respectable total. The duo added 59 runs for the fifth wicket, resisting Pakistan for nearly 18 overs. Their resilience came to an anti-climatic end, however, when Shumba was run out for 27.
Hasan then had the well-set Kaia dismissed leg-before wicket with a searing yorker, just two runs short of a maiden Test half-century. However, Donald Tiripano continued the fight, his 28* helping take Zimbabwe from 127/7 to 176, even as Afridi ran through the rest of the tail.
The Pakistan openers then put on a fine display of batsmanship. Butt and Abid were gritty for the most part, but didn’t hesitate to go for the shot when the chance presented itself. Abid went on to register his second Test fifty in Tests, while Butt ended the day needing just seven more runs on the second morning to bring up his own half-century.
Zimbabwe 1st innings:
P. Masvaure c Butt b Afridi 11
K. Kasuza b Hasan 0
T. Musakanda b Nauman 14
B. Taylor c Ashraf b Hasan 5
M. Shumba run out 27
R. Kaia lbw b Hasan 48
R. Chakabva c Butt b Hasan 19
D. Tiripano not out 28
T. Chisoro b Shaheen Afridi 9
B. Muzarabani b Afridi 14
R. Ngarava b Afridi 1
Total: (all out; 59.1 overs) 176
FOW: 1-0 (Kasuza), 2-18 (Masvaure), 3-30 (Musakanda), 4-30 (Taylor), 5-89 (Shumba), 6-124 (Kaia), 7-127 (Chakabva), 8-141 (Chisoro), 9-164 (Muzarabani)
Bowling: Afridi 15.1-5-43-4, Hasan 15-2-53-4, Nauman 11-1-29-1, Ashraf 7-2-14-0, Sajid 11-1-37-0
Pakistan 1st innings:
Imran Butt not out 43
Abid Ali not out 56
Extras: (b1, nb3) 4
Total: (for no loss; 30 overs) 103
Yet to bat: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan
Bowling: Muzarabani 9-2-20-0, Ngarava 9-2-32-0, Chisora 6-1-17-0, Tiripano 6-1-33-0
Umpires: L Rusere, M Erasmus
TV umpire: Iknow Chabi (ZIM)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)