By BV Swagath
The first Test at Harare between Zimbabwe and Pakistan is nicely poised with the visitors leading by 90 runs in their second innings with six wickets in hand. Pakistan recovered from a shaky position of 23 for 3 to end Day 3 at 168 for 4 in 70 overs. Zimbabwe did well to make Pakistan work hard for their runs.
Veteran batsman Younis Khan led the recovery for the visitors with an unbeaten 76. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq who put on a crucial partnership of 116 with Younis got out late in the day’s play. Misbah scored a slow 52 from 157 balls before spooning an expansive drive to covers off Shingirai Masakadza.
Update at Tea on Day 3: Zimbabwe are on top in the First Test at Harare with Pakistan crawling to 87 for 3 in 35 overs with an overall lead of just the nine runs. The situation for the visitors is better though with veterans Misbah and Younis in the middle of an important partnership of 64. At Tea time, Misbah is on 37 while Younis who is playing for his place in the side is on 29.
Just the third ball after lunch, Pakistan lost Azhar Ali, out lbw to a sharp inswinger at length from Tinashe Panyangara with the batsman playing outside the line. It was a big wicket for Zimbabwe as Azhar had top scored in the first innings with 78 and this time was dismissed for a 4-ball duck. Very soon, Mohammad Hafeez got out, spooning a low catch to covers in an early drive on the up off Tendai Chatara.
Update at Lunch on Day 3: Zimbabwe have struck early in the 7 overs they bowled before lunch with Tinashe Panyangara getting the wicket of Khurram Manzoor. This was after stretching their first innings lead to a handy 78 runs. Pakistan are under pressure at 21 for 1 in their second innings with Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali at the crease.
The visitors lost Khurram Manzoor in the 6th over when he offered no shot to an inswinger from Panyangara and got struck on the pad in front of off. Earlier in the day, Elton Chigumbura with a decent partnership with Shingirai Masakadza consolidated Zimbabwe’s position from an overnight total of 281 for 7. Masakadza (14) got out lbw to Saeed Ajmal after shuffling back to a full length off break which stayed low.
Zimbabwe’s innings was wrapped up in consecutive deliveries by Saeed Ajmal in the 104th over. Elton Chigumbura (70 from 100 balls with 14 fours) was finally dismissed, caught bat pad at shortleg to a sharp turning off break while no.11 Chatara edged his first ball to slip to what was a doosra. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 327 in 103.3 overs with Saeed Ajmal recording figures of 7 for 95.