Second Test

Pakistan v Zimbabwe 1998-99

At Lahore, December 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Drawn. Toss: Pakistan, Test debut: Naved Ashraf.

Pakistan's desperate bid to square the series was thwarted by dense fog and bad light, which affected all five days, with the fifth completely obliterated. On the third day, the umpires resumed, after five inspections, 100 minutes after lunch, but even then only 13 overs were possible.

The Pakistan captain, Aamir Sohail, pulled out the night before the game, officially because of illness. But rumours suggested that he had withdrawn after differences with the selectors and coach Javed Miandad, specifically over the recall of Salim Malik, brought back for his 100th Test (only Miandad had played more for Pakistan). Malik and the 24-year-old Rawalpindi opener Naved Ashraf, introduced for his first, were among five changes to the team that had lost in Peshawar, whereas Zimbabwe merely substituted leg-spinner Huckle for off-spinner Whittall.

Despite the controversy, Pakistan looked sharper on the opening day than they had all season. Stand-in captain Moin Khan elected to bowl on another seaming track, and Waqar Younis struck early with a flendish spell of four for 18, which left Zimbabwe struggling on 28 for four. Seasoned campaigner Andy Flower played a lone unbeaten hand of 60, but Saqlain Mushtaq's off-breaks cleaned up the second up the second half of the order, claiming a career-best five for 32. A few days earlier, his father had died of cancer. Pakistan were in control after bowling out Zimbabwe for 183 on the shortened first day. Their reply, however, spanned three days because of the foggy conditions, which meant they were short of time to press for victory.

On the second day, Saeed Anwar and Naved built a platform in an opening stand of 69 in two hours. But then, in customary fashion, the middle order collapsed to 147 for five. Yousuf Youhana, supported by Moin, held the fort, maintaining his concentration despite play being interrupted several times. He reached his maiden Test hundred, in his seventh match, taking his record against Zimbabwe to eight fifties in 11 international innings. His patience and caution brought him 120 in 306 minutes and testified to his immense potential. On the fourth day, Olonga produced a fiery burst of three wickets before Pakistan declared, 142 ahead.

Man of the Match: Yousuf Youhana.

Close of play: First day, Zimbabwe 183; Second day, Pakistan 184-5 (Yousuf Youhana 30*, Moin Khan 18*); Third day, Pakistan 211-5 (Yousuf Youhana 46*, Moin Khan 24*); Fourth day, Zimbabwe 48-0 (Rennie 16*, G. W. Flower 17*).

© John Wisden & Co
 
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