Zimbabwe v Pakistan, only Test, Bulawayo, 2nd day

Hafeez leads fightback after Mawoyo's marathon

The Report by Nitin Sundar

September 2, 2011

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 116 for 1 (Hafeez 79*) trail Zimbabwe 412 (Mawoyo 163*, Cheema 4-79, Ajmal 4-143) by 296 runs
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Tino Mawoyo celebrates his maiden Test hundred, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, only Test, Bulawayo, 2nd day, September 2, 2011
Nothing could dislodge Tino Mawoyo © Associated Press
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Tino Mawoyo became the third Zimbabwe batsman to carry his bat, leading Zimbabwe to an impressive 412 before Mohammad Hafeez helped Pakistan assert themselves in the final session. The Queens Sports Club pitch remained benign for the second day running, and Mawoyo cashed in after overcoming a bout of nerves in the 90s to build on the platform the home side set on the first day.

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  • This is only the 17th time that Zimbabwe have played more than 150 overs in an innings. The previous such instance was more than seven years ago.
  • Tino Mawoyo became only the third Zimbabwe opener to carry his bat in Tests, after Mark Dekker and Grant Flower. All three accomplished the feat against Pakistan.
  • Mawoyo faced 453 balls in his innings, which is the fourth-highest by a Zimbabwe batsman in Tests.
  • Aizaz Cheema is one of 19 Pakistan bowlers to take four or more wickets in an innings on Test debut.
  • It's the first time Saeed Ajmal has bowled more than 50 overs in a Test innings, and the 63rd such instance for a Pakistan bowler. Eight of the last ten have been by Danish Kaneria.
  • Mohammad Hafeez's 79 is his highest Test score since his century against West Indies in November 2006. In the 20 innings in between, he averaged 18.52.

Pakistan looked deflated in the morning but an energetic burst from the debutant Aizaz Cheema in the lead-up to tea helped helped them recover some lost ground. They then surged past 100 in the final session as the action shifted up a gear, after having meandered under Mawoyo's watch.

Hafeez was entertaining and elegant, but also enjoyed a slice of luck against the new-ball pair of Brian Vitori and Kyle Jarvis, who repeatedly attacked the stumps. Jarvis struck early, trapping Taufeeq Umar with a fullish ball that straightened towards middle and leg to leave Pakistan 8 for 1.

That should have become 16 for 2 in the next over when Vitori squared Hafeez up with a delivery that left him, but Brendan Taylor spilt the edge at second slip. It was a smart set-up from Vitori, after Hafeez had punched the two previous balls, both inswingers, down the ground.

The reprieve did not affect Hafeez's mindset and he continued to seek boundaries every time the bowlers missed their lengths. Despite his intent, Zimbabwe retained three slips and bowled full. He responded with a series of pleasing drives through the off side, and pulled well when the odd ball was dropped short. Azhar Ali was mostly a spectator as the 50-run stand came up in the 11th over. Ray Price's introduction slowed down the pace, as he offered generous flight in search of the edge, but Hafeez latched onto Vitori's short balls to motor past his half-century. Late in the day, he whacked Greg Lamb for six over midwicket, before taking Price for two boundaries in the last over to cap Pakistan's strong comeback.

That Pakistan managed their resurgence was down to Cheema's intent in the lead-up to tea. He concentrated on bowling a a full length to skittle out the tail, but not before Mawoyo had accumulated relentlessly, interspersing phases of stonewalling with sparks of fluency.

Mawoyo began the day with two early boundaries off Sohail Khan to enter the 90s, but he slowed down thereafter as his tormentor-in-chief, Saeed Ajmal, came into the attack. Mawoyo faced 166 balls in all from Ajmal, without once looking like he could spot the doosra. Ajmal's offbreaks did not turn too sharply, but mixed up with the odd indecipherable doosra, the stock delivery too became a threat.

On 98, Mawoyo wandered out of the crease in an attempt to reach the flight, but the doosra turned past the outside edge into Adnan Akmal's gloves. Akmal closed the gloves a touch late and inexplicably, failed to break the stumps with the ball lodged between his wrists.

That wasn't Mawoyo's only moment of indecision in the 90s. He was also troubled by Junaid Khan outside off stump repeatedly. Junaid's persistence accounted for Craig Ervine, who fended a short ball back to Junaid for his first Test wicket. Mawoyo hung on, and after 13 agonising balls on 99, inside-edged towards midwicket to reach his 100. With the milestone out of the way, he showed more freedom, driving and pulling Ajmal for fours before lacing Cheema down the ground.

Azhar's part-time legbreaks did not bother Mawoyo after lunch, and he picked up easy boundaries off him to kick off the most fluent session of his innings. Lamb too was at ease, thumping an Azhar half-tracker through point as Zimbabwe passed 350. Ajmal kept searching, but his doosras did everything except go to hand after taking the edge. Lamb misread his first ball after drinks, nicking one past slip for four, but Ajmal trapped him two balls later with the offbreak. Lamb had made 39, one of four top-order batsmen to fall within sight of a half-century.

Cheema's perseverance with the inswinger finally bore fruit when Price inside-edged to short leg, giving the bowler his first Test victim four days short of his 32nd birthday. Mawoyo remained immovable at his end, his footwork and defence increasing in decisiveness through the day. He brought up his 150 by nudging his 422nd ball to square leg. Ajmal should have had Vitori next ball, but Junaid put in a lame effort and failed to reach the top-edge as it swirled towards him at deep square leg.

Armed with a roughed-up ball against the tail-enders, Cheema resorted to a full length for the first time in the innings. He eventually got Vitori edging low to slip, before bowling Jarvis and Chris Mpofu. But that was not before Mpofu had mowed Ajmal over midwicket to take Zimbabwe past 400, a creditable effort considering that barring Tatenda Taibu, none of their batsmen could read the offspinner.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by deconstruct on (September 3, 2011, 6:39 GMT)

While I would not like to be overly critical of the bowlers, given their inexperience and docile nature of the pitch, there are a few questions which need to be answered by PCB: one could understand resting Umar Gul, who's been around for a decade, but what's the logic behind resting Wahab Riaz who has just started his career and is hungry for more matches? Also, what happened to Tanvir, the medium pacer who played such a key role in Pakistan's success against NZ? And what made the tour selection committee go into this match with only one spinner, given Zimbabwe's vulnerability against spin? If Shoaib Malik can be cleared by a rubber stamp committee, why must poor Kaneria suffer - all because he doesn't have the right political connections? Lets face it, after the ban on Asif and Amir, Pakistan doesn't really have a fearsome pace attack any more. So its all the more necessary to have a quality spin attack with Ajmal and Kaneria bowling together.

Posted by binojpeter on (September 3, 2011, 5:42 GMT)

Match seems to be headed for a draw. Seems that there is nothing in the pitch for the bowlers.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2011, 5:26 GMT)

well again to much experimentation to look for new guys !!! actually some of them are "Purchee" guys PCB is running out of their tricks now , they really have a bad face. Even though Wasim Akram criticized the selections but yet they are not changing their undemocratic/unprofessional ways. one thing is for sure they are going to have a tough series they may stay even but to dominate someone really needs to step in and I really cant tell , I am more optomistic on the new guys.. Good news they will be playing against Sri Lanka so they are goingt be playing at least till they get the home venues back for action..

Posted by yamin101 on (September 2, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Worst ever fast bowling attack by Pakistan. No speed, no smooth bowling action, well done PCB to find such nice boys from a huge pool of talant.

Posted by Navzkhan on (September 2, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

Can someone explain me?why misbah choose to field on this motorway like pitch after winning the toss?pak could easily score 700 plus in the first two days and can put pressure on the fragile batting line up of zimbabwe.....

Posted by Navzkhan on (September 2, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

Can someone explain me?why misbah choose to field on this motorway like pitch after winning the toss?pak could easily score 700 plus in the first two days and can put pressure on the fragile batting line up of zimbabwe.....

Posted by   on (September 2, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

good composed performance from zim. Frustate pak attack. Razzaq and wahab should be their. . . Any ways 3rd day wil be ta match decider :-) May be pAK batsmen fumble as their past record

Posted by   on (September 2, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

pakistan are going well but one or two quick wickets and the pressuer is right back on them.... this is is thanks to a mature innings by mawoyo and zimbabwe on a whole. I feel that zimbabwe are on there way up and the best may still be to come..

Posted by   on (September 2, 2011, 20:16 GMT)

Honestly speaking, even though the pitch was a real dead one for the bowlers, but the bowlers our great PCB chose to send on this trip were extremely ordinary. They have no talent whatsoever, they just bowled the same deliveries over and over again, showing no variations...all credit goes to PCB for choosing such a wonderful team. Zimbabwe will never loose this game, but keeping in sight Pakistani great batsmen, I do fancy Zimbabwes chances of winning this test.

Posted by mensan on (September 2, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

I hope pakistan score at least 550 to put Zim under some pressure in 2nd innings. Though the wicket is so docile, it will be a draw most likely.

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Nitin SundarClose
Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.
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