Zimbabwe v Pakistan, only Test, Bulawayo, 5th day September 5, 2011

Pakistan ease to seven-wicket win


Pakistan 466 (Hafeez 119, Lamb 3-120) and 88 for 3 (Hafeez 38) beat Zimbabwe 412 (Mawoyo 163, Cheema 4-79, Ajmal 4-143) and 141 (Taibu 58, Cheema 4-24, Hafeez 4-31) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan surged to a seven-wicket victory in Bulawayo as Zimbabwe paid the price for throwing away ten sessions of hard work in one poor session on the fourth day. Tatenda Taibu and Kyle Jarvis had kept Pakistan waiting with a 66-run stand for the eighth wicket yesterday, but Taibu's exit without any addition to the score signalled the end of Zimbabwe's resistance. Pakistan lost their top three batsmen in the chase, but the paltry target of 88 was insufficient to trouble them.

Though the opposition wasn't the toughest, it was a significant result for Pakistan since it gave them consecutive Test wins for the first time since 2005, following their series-levelling triumph against West Indies in Basseterre.

After skittling out the top eight Zimbabwean wickets in 27.3 overs, Pakistan were made to wait for exactly another 27.3 overs for their next wicket, and the last one followed without much fuss. The speed of Zimbabwe's capitulation came as a surprise, given how resilient Taibu and Jarvis had been in the lead-up to stumps yesterday.

With an in-and-out field aimed at keeping Taibu off strike, Aizaz Cheema, celebrating his 32nd birthday, delivered the last ball of his opening over well wide of off stump. Anxious to get the single, Taibu looked to steer away from his body and guided the ball into the wicketkeeper's gloves. In his next over, Cheema removed Chris Mpofu with a fuller length, making him edge to Adnan Akmal again. The double-strike gave Cheema an eight-wicket match haul - the second best by a Pakistan debutant.

One man's gain was another's loss, though, as Mohammad Hafeez was left stranded on four wickets - one more would have made him the 27th player, and only the second since 2000, to achieve the double of a century and five wickets in the same game.

Backed by the confidence of a strong all-round showing, Hafeez began the chase in attacking fashion. He welcomed Ray Price, the one man likely to cause problems on a wearing pitch, with a lofted drive for four and a slog-sweep for six. Taufeeq Umar fell fending an effort ball from Jarvis through to Taibu, but Hafeez kept playing his shots.

He raced to 38 off 44 balls before Price managed to bowl him round the legs off an edge. Azhar Ali and Younis Khan took Pakistan to the brink before Azhar betrayed his inexperience. Normally known for his patience, Azhar gifted his wicket to Price while attempting to hurry Pakistan across the line.

Pakistan's most experienced pair - Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq - ensured there was no further loss and they surged home minutes before lunch. It capped Waqar Younis' stint as Pakistan coach with a win that was hard-fought, yet clinical. The result also underlined Zimbabwe's standing in the Test format: while they aren't entirely lacking on the skills front, they are still some way away from becoming a top-flight side.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jawwad on September 7, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    KiwiRocker - Spot on. Umer Akmal should be replaced by Fawad Alam and I think our Test team is pretty much settled. And when either Younis or Misbah retires, there is not a better middle order batsman in Pakistan than Asim Kamal. I bet he must have burned his cricket gear by now. I am simply astonished to see the rise of M. Hafeez, what a second coming. He should be our next Captain but to my amazement Misbah did not include his name in future prospects. I guess because he was Afridi's guy?

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    give yousuf one more chance....

  • Bhagya on September 6, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Congratzzzzzz......Pakistan.....My team isn't doing well these days but I feel always happy when you guys win.....Pakistan is my favorite team after Sri Lanka.Let's meet in UAE....

  • Wasif on September 6, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Well done Pakistan!!!! fantastic effort by the bowlers specially Aizaz Cheema. 8 wickets on a debut on dead track, great job!!!!

  • Sayed on September 6, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Greatwin for pakistan, but i Think Umar Alkma should start be played at no,4, we r wasting him at no.6. The opener Tawfiq was a total flop..... wea did he come from.. no other opener for Pakistan

  • DINESH on September 6, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    HAROON AYUB: "INDIA, this is how to win a Test Match away from home! Unfortunately no TV channels showed the match in Britain!!". BETTER YOU SAY THE SAME LINE AFTER BEATING SRI LANKA AND NOT ZIMBABWE, WI, BANGLADESH, IRELAND, UAE, AFGHANISTAN, NETHERLANDS, NAMIBIA, CANADA, KENYA.

  • Bobby on September 6, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    I had commented when Cheema was selected that Cheema is a real deal. I am pleased he responded well. An old fashioned hard worker who seems to have a big heart and seems quite fit. Biggest disappointment was Sohail Khan. He does not desrve another chance. Similarly, Taufeeq Umer needs to raise his game. Asad Shafiq shud walk in for ODI's. Pakistan has Gul, Wahab, Junaid, Cheema- A good solid attack now with variety as all four are different type of bowlers. Muhammad Amir will be back in next 3-4 years! Things are looking good for Pakistan. Saeed Ajmal is definitely best spinner along with Swann..Miles ahead of rest of spinners. Misbah and Younis add solid middle order.Pakistan shud get Razzaq, Afridi, Rana Naveed back in team. SHoib Mailk is a bad influence and a poor selection. Umer Akmal is not a test player and its a shame that player of Asad Shafiq's quality is waiting on sidelines. iCC rankings are flawed and on form, England, SA, Australia and Pakistan are top 4 teams!

  • Rana on September 6, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Haroon Ayub Sahir, LOL please put that whatever kool aid down, you are comparing Zimbabwe to England? Enough said, this ridiculous cheap shot doesn't deserve any further credence. LOL. I love how this is a thread for Zimbabwe vs Pakistan but somehow, cheapshots and India keep coming up. Grow up.

  • Kamran on September 6, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    No doubt win is after all a win but to me pakistan needs to do a lot more to trouble as good a side as srilanka, offering 9 chances to any better side won't provide them the same result. Think about it

  • waseem on September 6, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan to create a win out of a draw on a shirt front of a pitch.. For Aizaz Cheema, one must give credit to Waqar Younis who stood up for his selection..Good to see Hafeez coming of age.. Its a good team in the making.. need a good replacement of waqar

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