Second Test Match

Zimbabwe v Pakistan

At Bulawayo, November 16, 17, 18, 19, 2002. Pakistan won by ten wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe. Test debut: M. A. Vermeulen.

Pakistan became only the second touring team to win both Tests of a two-match series on Zimbabwean soil, and they did it in eight days, to New Zealand's ten in 2000-01. In contrast to the First Test, they took a grip from the opening session that they never relinquished.

Zimbabwe replaced Whittall, who had aggravated his knee injury at Harare, with debutant opener Mark Vermeulen, and Mahwire with Nkala, who proved little more successful, despite greater experience. Pakistan were unchanged. They swiftly seized the initiative on a lifeless pitch, removing both openers by the fifth over. A determined partnership between Campbell and Grant Flower temporarily stemmed the tide, but Saqlain Mushtaq was finding spin by the first afternoon. Once he had despatched these two, Zimbabwe never looked like saving the match. They lost their last five for 23 after tea: Shoaib Akhtar produced a superb spell at one end, with little help from the pitch, while Saqlain bamboozled them from the other to finish with seven wickets. The batting crumbled under the relentless pressure of Pakistan at their best.

The following day, Zimbabwe's bowling was at least more accurate than in Harare, but it was never threatening. Still, Pakistan's top order endangered their position by over-adventurousness. The man who managed to cash in was Yousuf Youhana. While Younis Khan grafted his way to a painstaking four-hour fifty, Youhana, after a cautious start, cruised to 159 off 282 balls; he batted just over six hours and hit 21 fours, surviving four chances. He shared century partnerships with Younis and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who showed pleasing fluency in a maiden Test fifty, and also impressed behind the stumps. Zimbabwe had little luck, but they did not make any.

Nine Zimbabweans reached double figures in the second innings, but none made the major contribution needed. After Saqlain bowled a single over with the new ball, Vermeulen played a brief cameo, striking five fours off nine balls from Shoaib, but Campbell alone reached fifty. For once, he applied himself thoroughly to the task in hand, sharing another gritty stand with Grant Flower. Later, Blignaut played a typical attacking 41 off 32 balls before throwing his wicket away: his approach appeared to be "Let's have a bash" rather than "Let's make a fight of it."

Saqlain had to toil harder for his wickets the second time round, but deservedly finished with ten in the match. Pakistan raced to a target of 57 in only 8.3 overs, and all but nine of their runs came in boundaries.

Man of the Match: Yousuf Youhana. Man of the Series: Saqlain Mushtaq.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 29-0 (Taufeeq Umar 16, Salim Elahi 13); Second day, Pakistan 295-5 (Yousuf Youhana 116, Kamran Akmal 27); Third day, Zimbabwe 171-5 (A. Flower 13).

© John Wisden & Co