First Test

Pakistan v Zimbabwe 1998-99

Toss: Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe completed their first overseas Test win on the fourth morning, after a run-chase led by Goodwin, who hit an unbeaten 73. Like Johnson, who scored a vital first-innings century. Goodwin had returned to his native Zimbabwe after sharpening his skills overseas; he had played in Australia, Johnson in South Africa and England. But the bowlers who set up the victory by skittling Pakistan in their second innings for just 103 were the black pace men, Olonga and Mbangwa, and their white compatriot Streak, who had all come up through Zimbabwe's ranks.

Both teams picked four seamers to exploit a grassy pitch. Pakistan recalled Waqar Younis, for his first Test since March, and Aqib Javed for his first since September 1995. But it was Zimbabwe's attack which proved more hostile and accurate, consistently finding the Pakistanis' weakness against the moving ball, and they were backed by spirited fielding. Olonga, in particular, worked up a fearsome pace in the second innings. He took three wickets in ten balls, which left them reeling on 15 for four. Next, Mbangwa bowled the in-form Yousuf Youhana and Moin Khan with two excellent balls that moved off the seam. That was 41 for six. Only Saeed Anwar, batting at No. 7 because of a stomach upset, and Wasim Akram enabled Pakistan to cross the 100 mark. Wasim, dropped on 19, hit Mbangwa for three consecutive boundaries, but the bowler had the last laugh, deceiving him with a slower delivery. The last four wickets fell for five runs.

Captain Aamir Sohail was fuming. He called the display pathetic, and wondered if Pakistan had ever batted so badly. But he had set the trend himself, hitting the ball straight back to Olonga in the second over. Sohail also criticised the selectors for giving him the wrong team, and the decision to prepare a green pitch.

His opposite number, Campbell, had had no doubts about bowling first. Pakistan, however, started well enough on the opening day, thanks to half-centuries from Ijaz Ahmed and Youhana. But Streak, who became the first Zimbabwean to take 100 Test wickets when he dismissed Azhar Mahmood just before the close, finished the innings quickly next morning, grabbing three more as Pakistan fell just short of 300.

Zimbabwe were soon 63 for four. Grant Flower was dropped twice in scoring 15, which carried him past 2,000 Test runs (his brother Andy was the only other Zimbabwean to have reached the landmark), but was caught in the slips off Waqar shortly afterwards. Waqar added Goodwin and Andy Flower, with successive balls, in his next over. Johnson avoided the hat-trick, stood firm as his side stumbled to a precarious 115 for six, and then turned the innings round in a 103-run partnership with Streak. He was dropped on 99, by second slip Mahmood off Wasim, but survived to complete a maiden century in his second Test. Mahmood had another chance next morning and caught Johnson at his overnight score of 107, which took only 117 balls and included 16 fours. It was Wasim's 350th Test wicket, in his 82nd game. But shoddy fielding had let Zimbabwe off the hook; their tail reduced, the first innings deficit to 58. Then came the ignominious collapse and the final target was 162, which Zimbabwe's top order briskly achieved.

Man of the match: N. C. Johnson.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 272-6 (Yousuf Yohana 74*, Wasim Akram 0*); Second day, Zimbabwe 218-7 (Johnson 107*, Whittal 0*); Third day, Zimbabwe 70-1 (G. W. Flower 24*, Goodwin 34*).

© John Wisden & Co