First Test Match

Zimbabwe v Pakistan

At Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, March 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Drawn. Toss: Zimbabwe. Test debuts: T. N. Madondo, D. P. Viljoen.

When play finally began after lunch on the first day, under cloudy skies following rain, conditions for swing were ideal. Zimbabwe nevertheless elected to bat, in the hope that the pitch would deteriorate and turn later. In the event, it did neither. Waqar Younis, with out-swing, and Azhar Mahmood, with in-swing, were a difficult proposition early on, but Pakistan badly missed Wasim Akram who was ruled out by fever along with Mushtaq Ahmed. Zimbabwe lost three quick wickets before the Flower brothers restored some order with an excellent stand of 77.

The second day dawned clearer and batting was much easier. Unable to gain any swing, either traditional or reverse, the Pakistanis needed more than 57 overs to take the last five wickets. Streak, equalling his Test best, partnered Grant Flower in a crucial seventh-wicket stand of 109. Flower became the second Zimbabwean after Mark Dekker, at Rawalpindi in 1993-94, to carry his bat, in an outstanding innings, notable for its driving and watertight defence. He gave only one chance in 512 minutes and 329 balls - when 145 - and hit 13 fours and two sixes. Nearly all the Pakistanis got starts, but only the gritty Yousuf Youhana went on to reach fifty, a maiden one in his second Test. Most of the rest were out to careless or ill-disciplined shots against tight bowling on one side of the wicket.

Zimbabwe were armed with their fifth first-innings lead in nine Tests against Pakistan, but they again started badly, losing four wickets for 25 to Waqar and Shoaib Akhtar, who was startlingly fast. But Waqar was soon forced off through injury and, when Saqlain Mushtaq was also injured, Pakistan were left with only two specialist bowlers. This, the excellence of the pitch and the hot weather assisted Goodwin and Andy Flower in building a splendid unbroken partnership of 277 in 68 overs, an all-wicket record for Zimbabwe- overtaking the 269 between Andy and Grant Flower, also against Pakistan, three years earlier. Goodwin reached his maiden Test hundred in 161 balls and then hammered 63 off his next 43, as Zimbabwe sought quick runs for a declaration. His cutting was impressive, as was his use of feet to the spinners. Goodwin hit 17 fours and four sixes; Flower's more measured century contained only six fours.

Left with 105 overs to survive - or an improbable 368 to win - Pakistan were reduced to 80 for four on the final day, thanks to more poor batting. But Youhana and Moin Khan saved the match. They added 110 before the new ball accounted for Youhana, who had batted nearly three hours. Moin batted half an hour longer, but threw away the chance of a fourth Test hundred when he top-edged a sweep off Viljoen, who was bowling left-arm spin into the rough. Surprisingly, Campbell had declined to use his second spinner, Andy Whittall, until after tea; equally surprisingly, he granted Pakistan the draw when 45 balls still remained, with four wickets standing.

Man of the Match: G. W. Flower.

Close of play: First day, Zimbabwe 151-5 ( G. W. Glower 69*, T. N. Madondo 11*); Second day, Pakistan 77-1 ( Ali Naqvi 24*, Ijaz Ahmed, sen. 16*); Third day, Zimbabwe 15-2 ( G. W. Flower 4*); Fourth day, Pakistan 24-0 ( Ali Naqvi 7*, Saqlain Mushtaq 6*).

© John Wisden & Co