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

'I perform well under pressure' - Mawoyo

Firdose Moonda in Bulawayo

September 2, 2011

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Tino Mawoyo carried his bat through the Zimbabwe innings, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, only Test, Bulawayo, 2nd day, September 2, 2011
Tino Mawoyo's unbeaten 163 was his best score in all forms of cricket © AFP
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As Tino Mawoyo left the end-of-day press conference, with his path firmly directed towards "getting some sleep", he was stopped by an unlikely fan. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq interrupted Mawoyo's beeline for the team bus with a rough jolt of the shoulder.

"Well batted," Misbah said. "You've had a long day and I thought you played really well."

Mawoyo gave him a warm smile and they shook hands. It was a smile that expressed more satisfaction than Mawoyo had shown throughout his innings, which was carefully structured and hugely impressive, a knock that called on his all powers of concentration.

The ten-hour and forty-five minute marathon was paced exquisitely. There was never a passage of play in which Mawoyo changed gear, no acceleration in the middle, no sprint to the finish, just a steady progression from beginning to end. There were few emotions, of joy or otherwise, and it was that stern focus that led Mawoyo to his highest score in all forms of the game.

"I had been saying to the coach that I felt as though I kept getting starts but I wasn't pushing on," Mawoyo said. "I wanted to make one of those starts count and I think it worked this time."

It was only Mawoyo's second Test but already he felt the pressure to do something more than an accomplished 30 or 40. The sense of demand came from periods in Mawoyo's domestic career when he had been under fire, phases in his first-class career when he was dropped from his provincial and franchise sides. "I perform well under pressure, it gives me a little extra drive to do well," he said.

Mawoyo has now answered enough questions to give him a credit balance in the criticism account, but he is not getting over-excited about his performance. "I don't think it's quite sunk in yet, and really, I'm just happy to have contributed. We spoke about getting the team past 400 and I am happy to have been a major part of that."

Mawoyo's lack of animation at his achievement may seem drab, but it's the one quality that helped him survive Saeed Ajmal's doosra, which threatened to undo him every time it was bowled. "It is very tricky to pick," he said. "I thought I had started reading him a little yesterday, but when he bowled from the Airport End today, I had no idea. I do know that the seam is usually a little bit more upright than when he bowls the offbreak."

The rest of the bowlers were not as challenging, although Mawoyo found that good field placement when the seamers were on made it difficult to score. Aizaz Cheema mowed through the lower order but there was little else to talk about. Misbah could not find the heart to chastise his quicks on a pitch that is flatter than the Bulawayo countryside. "They bowled their hearts out, even on the second day, they were running in and bowling bouncers."

The batsmen-friendly pitch had Mohammad Hafeez in his element as he raced to 79 off 93 balls and Misbah predicted more of the same as the match entered its middle period. "On such a good wicket, the batsmen can't control themselves and they will play their shots," he said. With some turn expected, Misbah said Ray Price was the bowler his team will have to "keep an eye on."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by zzboyz on (September 3, 2011, 13:07 GMT)

Zimbabwe is getting stronger every day and climbing up the rankings. I still of course think that Pakistan has the confidence to beat Zimbabwe. I am proud of Hafeez and I think Misbah is calm, but no one is calm and no one wants calm. I hope that next 2 days Pakistan will score 700 and will get Zimbabwe all out before they score 300. :) Go Pakistan. And I hope Amir will come back in. He was my hero before he got banned. He still is.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

Zimbabwe played well but have fears that if they leave Pakistan having a marathon chase, then it will be bad for Zim. Hope the bowlers will put more pressure and sent Hafeez to the terraces.

Posted by Afgunz4Lyfe on (September 3, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

REally happy to see Zimbabwe make real progress in Test cricket, First bangladesh and now Pak...very dissapointed with Pak bowling, selection makes no sense, Cheema and Sohail shouldnt even be reserves on this team.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2011, 0:39 GMT)

Zimbabwe has to be applauded for finding some serious talent. They have a dogged opening bat, the talent of Brendan Taylor, the presence of Ray Price, an exciting new ball partnership and home support that is growing with every success. Its a big achievement.

Posted by   on (September 2, 2011, 23:20 GMT)

indeed well played zimbabwe, and a "conditional" welldone to pakistan, as long as they donr lose wickets in a heap tommorow. Could be a fun match with the pitch turning more and more as the days go by

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

indeed well played zimbabwe, and a "conditional" welldone to pakistan, as long as they donr lose wickets in a heap tommorow. Could be a fun match with the pitch turning more and more as the days go by

Posted by   on (September 2, 2011, 22:26 GMT)

Well played Tino. So good to see Zimbabwe competing on their test return. Long may it continue.

One thing I would say is that if Jonathan Trott had played at that pace for an entire innings he would have (wrongly) been ridiculed and questions asked about his place in the side.... just saying

Posted by khurramsch on (September 2, 2011, 18:38 GMT)

tim realy playd wel.play 450bals is not joke.yes its true that he had some luck & pitch flat & por bowlers but stil 450bals is very impresive & more importantly he face 150bals of saed ajmal whch is a impresive thng.only fw could do. Some pity though tht he couldnt score litle bit fastr 2 get 200in ths inings.

Posted by Tjoeps on (September 2, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

Well done Zim! Nice to see Africa has been spoken for in such a nice batting performance, good to see you guys back on the scene to test the big guns! Tino your knock was great! See Keegan is on the mend, that was a shocker! Speedy recovery brother! Well wishes from a cricket fanatic from SA! Go Zim!

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (September 2, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

Its great to see Zimbabwe back in the Test Match playing and watching Cricket community. Its also brilliant for the game of cricket to see Black cricketers from Zimbabwe do well in Test Cricket. Congratulations to Tino Mawoyo for his innings well played Tino Mawoyo!

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