Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare, 2nd day September 4, 2013

Ajmal strikes but Zimbabwe take lead

73

Zimbabwe 281 for 7 (Waller 70, Raza 60, Ajmal 4-77) lead Pakistan 249 (Azhar 78, Misbah 53, Chatara 3-64) by 32 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Even after the strong showing of their bowlers on the first day in Harare, doubts persisted over whether Zimbabwe would pose a challenge, given the fragility of their Test batting, especially in the absence of Brendan Taylor, and the quality of Pakistan's attack. Those concerns were heightened soon after lunch, when both the set batsmen Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza were dismissed off consecutive deliveries.

However Malcolm Waller, who found form over the past week after a miserable series against India, and the debutant Sikandar Raza underlined Zimbabwe's ability to stand up to the bigger teams with a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket that put the hosts on course for the lead. They were ahead by 32 at stumps, and will probably need a few more considering they have to bat last in the game, when Saeed Ajmal's bag of tricks will prove a handful.

For the second day in a row, Ajmal did his bit to keep Pakistan from falling too far back in the game. On Tuesday, his unbeaten 49 had rescued Pakistan from 182 for 8, and today, after being dismissed first ball in the morning, he snared four wickets to keep Zimbabwe's lead from getting out of hand. Still, there can be no doubts over which of the two sides will be happier at this stage of the Test - Zimbabwe's stand-in captain Masakadza sported a huge grin and even tried out a couple of dance moves as he watched the final overs of the day.

The only time Pakistan looked like they could take control of the game was early in the second session, when Zimbabwe slipped to 68 for 3. Junaid Khan, the pace spearhead, was rewarded for a probing over in which he tweaked his line and length till he got it perfect on the final delivery, inducing Sibanda to nick to the keeper. Off the next ball, Ajmal fired in a straighter one and Masakadza was bowled as he played for the offspin.

Raza was playing his first Test and Waller hadn't scored a half-century in any format since his 55 at the start of the Bangladesh series in April. With the wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami not being a recognised batsman, the lower order didn't inspire too much confidence.

Waller, though, wasn't cowed by the situation, showing his confidence by hitting his first ball for four, a cover drive off Ajmal. That shot made a frequent appearance as Waller sprinted to 33 off 30 balls, with seven boundaries. In what had been a low-scoring game, that burst of run making shifted the pressure back on Pakistan, and made it easier for Raza to settle. Waller batted with an open stance and regularly cashed in on the width offered, slapping the ball past point, bringing up his half-century with one of those shots.

Raza was more cautious early on, but swiftly grew in confidence. He was assured while using his feet against the spinners, and after having spent an hour in the middle, he was bold enough to charge out and launch Abdur Rehman over his head for four. He also employed the sweep shot, and Pakistan's challenge began to fade around tea. In 10 overs either side of the session, Waller and Raza picked off 54 runs, and Zimbabwe were clearly on top.

That was the cue for Ajmal to produce another of his moments of magic, getting Waller to edge to slips. Raza then slammed a catch to midwicket, leaving Pakistan with an outside chance of taking the lead. Elton Chigumbura, however, has been a regular source of runs lower down the order, and once again he delivered, ending the day unbeaten on 40 to put Zimbabwe well ahead.

The lower-order resistance mirrored the resolve shown by the top order before lunch. Pakistan's quicks, Junaid and Rahat Ali, produced a number of testing deliveries but couldn't maintain a consistent line, though Junaid ended Tino Mawoyo's comeback innings ended on 13.

The other opener, Sibanda, had a difficult time early on, particularly against Rahat, and was struck on the forearm and later just above the waist. He played some graceful strokes as well when the bowlers erred, the highlights being effortless off-drives down the ground. When Rahat lost his line and length in the 19th over, Sibanda took him for three fours. Keeping him company was Masakadza, who launched a six onto the sightscreen in Ajmal's first over.

Zimbabwe then had their post-lunch wobble but showed enough spine to finish the day as frontrunners.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Credit where it's due guys. Quit understating the Pakistani bowlers. The fact is Zim batsmen batted well upfront, which laid the foundation for the rest of the team, and they haven't disappointed. Waller has been magnificent, & Raza has started to free his arms after settling in.

    Like I said, things were always going to be difficult for Pakistan because the seamers have zero assistance from the pitch, and the ball did nothing really, while the batting conditions have been superb for Zim.

    This also proves just how good Utseya is because he extracted more turn and troubled Pak(sub-continent) batsmen more than Rehman&Ajmal are doing to our batsmen. Misbah should not have turned to seamers after lunch at all. Unless he's injured, it should've been Hafeez and those two one way, with plenty of men consistently around the bat. Malcolm spooked him the moment he took them on, and Misbah's run out of ideas. Now the current pair have zero fear them.

    ....and Malcolm falls!!!

  • on September 5, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    at this rate saeed ajmal should have more tyan 500 wickets in 100 test matches I.e if he plays 100 tests

  • Haleos on September 5, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk - How many of the Pakistani batsman know how to play test match shots? They only know T20 or Misbah cricket cricket with snail type run rate. Bowling can only bail you out so many times. If the bwoling fails like it has done in this match. Giving over 300 to zimbabwe is a failure. Zim are maintaining a runrate of over 3. Pkaistan struggled to reach even near 3.

  • Haleos on September 5, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk - Mate. No one know the future. You comment on what is present. 8 years is a big time in pakistani cricket. There might be 100 new bowlers by then. Regading India - Atleast Indian bowlers were able to win India all the 5 ODIs. Unlike your team who lost an ODI and look to loose this test too if Zim nanage a lead of anything over 100. Barring Ajmal rest of the bowling attack looks clueless. What happened to Rehman? Dont give reasons for pitch not assisting. Good bowlers dont need assistance from the pitch. Akram, Waqar, Kapil etc took loads of wickets on dry sub continent wickets. @DineshCC - The lead is almost twice what you said would be.

  • on September 5, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    wow.. gr8 batting display by zim by batting 100 overs against a pretty good bowling attack. and also maintaining very good run rate. hope they dont let pak team back in this match. will c. younus khan has a big role to play in 2nd innings of pakistan.

  • on September 5, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx i beleive you have problem of little amnesia (pak beat world number 1, 3-0 thats why they still keep 4th position, morever pakistan team doesnt get much test crickers since few years thats why they have problems like they are suffering in south africa nad now zimbab

  • on September 5, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast

    Uh, everyone knows how pathetic Pakistan's batting line up is. To tout that that mediocre bowler Utseya is better than Ajmal/Rehman on the basis that the mediocre batsmen (Pak's batters with weak base) struggled against him as opposed to the relatively more technical zim batsmen is a joke.

    Utseya didn't trouble the strong Indian line-up.

  • on September 5, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    poor performance by pak team which is real performance now a day...supporter should b confes reality... now a days pak team are shadow of 90"s team.. today looks their opener khurrum or nasir jamshed low average and lower quality batsman as well as poorfielder..in this team fast bowling are worst than associate country like ireland, afganistan scotland, .............Pakistan cricket will banish in future.............

  • DINESHCC on September 5, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Cricket Analyst: To some extent your analysis is correct. But the test match is not yet over. The lead will be restricted to only 35 and not 120. If pakistan score only 200 in the 2nd innings, they have the bowling strength to rout Zimbabwe below 150. As the pitch is detoriarating, the 4th innings is very difficult.

  • delhi-belly on September 5, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Only 3-4 players from the regular ODI side in the test team? I believe this concept of separate teams for tests and ODIs does not go well with sub-continent countries. If Pakistan are to improve their ODI side then they should include more ODI players in the test team since temperament which is a vital factor in ODIs, can be learnt from test matches only. The same initiative will also improve the test side because the so called test players get hardly a few matches in an entire year and they look rusty if they play after such long gaps. T20 team can be a separate eleven since neither technique nor temperament is required in this format but the other two formats are quite complementary and Pakistan will have to maintain a balance between the two to ensure their uplift.

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Credit where it's due guys. Quit understating the Pakistani bowlers. The fact is Zim batsmen batted well upfront, which laid the foundation for the rest of the team, and they haven't disappointed. Waller has been magnificent, & Raza has started to free his arms after settling in.

    Like I said, things were always going to be difficult for Pakistan because the seamers have zero assistance from the pitch, and the ball did nothing really, while the batting conditions have been superb for Zim.

    This also proves just how good Utseya is because he extracted more turn and troubled Pak(sub-continent) batsmen more than Rehman&Ajmal are doing to our batsmen. Misbah should not have turned to seamers after lunch at all. Unless he's injured, it should've been Hafeez and those two one way, with plenty of men consistently around the bat. Malcolm spooked him the moment he took them on, and Misbah's run out of ideas. Now the current pair have zero fear them.

    ....and Malcolm falls!!!

  • on September 5, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    at this rate saeed ajmal should have more tyan 500 wickets in 100 test matches I.e if he plays 100 tests

  • Haleos on September 5, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk - How many of the Pakistani batsman know how to play test match shots? They only know T20 or Misbah cricket cricket with snail type run rate. Bowling can only bail you out so many times. If the bwoling fails like it has done in this match. Giving over 300 to zimbabwe is a failure. Zim are maintaining a runrate of over 3. Pkaistan struggled to reach even near 3.

  • Haleos on September 5, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk - Mate. No one know the future. You comment on what is present. 8 years is a big time in pakistani cricket. There might be 100 new bowlers by then. Regading India - Atleast Indian bowlers were able to win India all the 5 ODIs. Unlike your team who lost an ODI and look to loose this test too if Zim nanage a lead of anything over 100. Barring Ajmal rest of the bowling attack looks clueless. What happened to Rehman? Dont give reasons for pitch not assisting. Good bowlers dont need assistance from the pitch. Akram, Waqar, Kapil etc took loads of wickets on dry sub continent wickets. @DineshCC - The lead is almost twice what you said would be.

  • on September 5, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    wow.. gr8 batting display by zim by batting 100 overs against a pretty good bowling attack. and also maintaining very good run rate. hope they dont let pak team back in this match. will c. younus khan has a big role to play in 2nd innings of pakistan.

  • on September 5, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx i beleive you have problem of little amnesia (pak beat world number 1, 3-0 thats why they still keep 4th position, morever pakistan team doesnt get much test crickers since few years thats why they have problems like they are suffering in south africa nad now zimbab

  • on September 5, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast

    Uh, everyone knows how pathetic Pakistan's batting line up is. To tout that that mediocre bowler Utseya is better than Ajmal/Rehman on the basis that the mediocre batsmen (Pak's batters with weak base) struggled against him as opposed to the relatively more technical zim batsmen is a joke.

    Utseya didn't trouble the strong Indian line-up.

  • on September 5, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    poor performance by pak team which is real performance now a day...supporter should b confes reality... now a days pak team are shadow of 90"s team.. today looks their opener khurrum or nasir jamshed low average and lower quality batsman as well as poorfielder..in this team fast bowling are worst than associate country like ireland, afganistan scotland, .............Pakistan cricket will banish in future.............

  • DINESHCC on September 5, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Cricket Analyst: To some extent your analysis is correct. But the test match is not yet over. The lead will be restricted to only 35 and not 120. If pakistan score only 200 in the 2nd innings, they have the bowling strength to rout Zimbabwe below 150. As the pitch is detoriarating, the 4th innings is very difficult.

  • delhi-belly on September 5, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Only 3-4 players from the regular ODI side in the test team? I believe this concept of separate teams for tests and ODIs does not go well with sub-continent countries. If Pakistan are to improve their ODI side then they should include more ODI players in the test team since temperament which is a vital factor in ODIs, can be learnt from test matches only. The same initiative will also improve the test side because the so called test players get hardly a few matches in an entire year and they look rusty if they play after such long gaps. T20 team can be a separate eleven since neither technique nor temperament is required in this format but the other two formats are quite complementary and Pakistan will have to maintain a balance between the two to ensure their uplift.

  • Solid_Snake on September 5, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Such days have come that we Pakistan batting has to rely on Ajmal..What a team we got here.Good job Whatmore & PCB..Now we can't even bat properly against teams like Zimbabwe.That small hope i had about the bright future of Pak batting,that hope was crushed today..

  • on September 5, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Like I said after the loss in 1st ODI, Pakistan is hitting their abysmal lows and the fans should prepare for the worst.They can still fight back and win this test, but the way Zimbabwe got the lead must be appreciated.What next for team pakistan? a loss to an associated nation (again) ? Even an Indian A team has done better than this team

  • jalebi_bai on September 5, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    @Faizan Khan "People need to watch the match rather than seeing the scoreline at the end of the day." you said same when pak got washed out 3-0 in champions trophy? if that is your attitude, then great, such performances are going to come all the time. it is NOT OK to lose to ireland and zimbabwe. NO EXCUSES. it is HUMILIATING.

  • jalebi_bai on September 5, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    my request to all - just cool it plzz. pak team are in rebuilding phase so such humiliating performances are going to come regularly for some more time. fluke masters like afridie, hafeez, akmal, irfan, amin, shehzad should be banished. and consistent players should be located and given chance. umar gul should be given chance. sehwag damaged him badly so some psychological support should be given to him first. responsibility is with pcb to give pak people good quality international team. these days pak team giving shameful performaces all the time.

  • piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on September 5, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    @Faizan Khan We are talking about cricket here, not baseball. Most people who understand cricket question zimbabwe's test status. Ireland are an associate nation. So losing to both these countries is greatest shame, and shows clearly where your team stands. In this match, Zim has alreay taken lead. Be prepared for some humiliation.

  • shawnboomboomdeodat on September 5, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    Well played Zimbabwae .... well fought against a quality bowling attack. I wish Brendan Taylor was in the team and what happend to Tabu?? They need to pick their best team and always keep fighting..Their bowling can battle with top teams especially their spinners ...

  • Greatest_Game on September 5, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge. The match report concerns the test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. In your post you describe Ajmal as "terrible" and "impotent," and Zimbabwe as "one of the least skilled, if not the worst skilled side, in the world" (A semantic wonder, that phrase.)

    The only positive contribution you made concerned Swann, not even a player in the match. I'm puzzled why you posted these comments? Were you looking for the opportunity to randomly praise Swann, deride Ajmal & Zimbabwe, or both?

  • on September 5, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Ah, welcome back, @Front-Foot-Lunge. The rose-tinted-glasses England fan who gives the rest of us Brits on here a bad name! Swann is great, yes, but you can't blame Ajmal for the Zimbabwean batsmen showing more solidity against him than we did in the UAE a year ago! No doubt you are soon to post that the "worst skilled side" you mention is actually Australia? We know all your tricks, FFL.

  • Smiling on September 4, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    @Faizan Khan, well said. I can understand frustrations of fans, however, the reality of actually playing there is far from ideal. There is a lot happening behind the scenes for Zim, the emotional baggage alone making it tough, the type the Pakistani players deal with constantly, however good on them all. I'm glad you take the time to watch the intracies of the match instead of just the scorecard. I dare say many negatives are spoken from people who hardly play the game or have never done so at this level and have absolutely no idea.

  • Chaudry_Cricket on September 4, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    To be honest the bowling was not bad. Apart from the 1st hour the pitch was flat hardly anything for the bowlers. Rahats intial spell was quite good he really troubled Sinbada and was unlucky to not get his wicket. But again he has a consistency problem many times in a over he would bowl 2 jaffas followed by 4 loose balls which if he can improve on he could be a very good bowler because he has pace bounce just needs more control. Junaid bowled o.k he kept going short a few times he needs to stop trying to do too much with the ball, he should just keep hitting the right length. Ajmal bowled well but there was no turn for him. Rehman was a passenger.

    But WHY Misbah and Whatmore played Hafeez when clearly he was injured. Hafeez is not the next Gary Sobers that this pathetic team managment play him despite an injury and deny a youngster (Shaan Masood) a chance to impress.

    Show some spine Misbah and Whatmore and DROP HAFFEZ who is trying to bloat his (ridiculous) average !!!!!.

  • Chanred on September 4, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    So much talk about the skill and efficiency of their bowlers by the Pakistani supporters here. Like the team itself, the fans misread the Zim ability to fight. However I think a team is only as good as its 2 nd innings and that will really tet the Zimbabweans.

  • Crick_Expert on September 4, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    PAK TEAM need to learn batting, weak players should leave cricket. I don't know why PCB selected again & again to Asad Safiq, Khurum Manzoor, Adnan Akmal, Rahat Ali etc.?

  • Crick_Expert on September 4, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    No plan, no batting, no bowling or fielding performance from PAK TEAM side showed in 1ST TEST. The bottom line is Mr. tuktuk should say bye PAK Team now.

  • Crick_Expert on September 4, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Very disappointment and shameful batting from PAK. PCB should fire Mr. tuktuk, Khurum Manzoor, Asad Safiq, Adnan Akmal and add young players like Shaan Masood, Haris Sohail, Shoiab Maqsood, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad in Test team.

  • on September 4, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Having watched 2-days of test cricket, I believe Zimbabwe is a better team than Pakistan in batting, bowling and fielding. Zimbabwe pace bowlers had more variety, more penetration than Pakistan, only positive for Pakistan is off-spin of Saeed Ajmal. Also, in Batting Zimbabwe are more composed, more solid than entire Pakistan line up. I would be very happy if Zimbabwe wins this test match and the 2nd one too.

  • jb633 on September 4, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    @Front-foot-lunge, come on mate I am English and am happy to concede that Ajmal is the best spinner in the world across all 3 formats, bar none. I must say Zimbabwe were excellent today and thoroughly deserve to be in the position they are in. For those asking questions of the bowling attack are looking at things all wrong. The main concern for Pakistan is that they are not producing any class batsmen. As soon as the ball moves of the straight these guys just have no clue and it must be a worry to them. I think it vital for the development of Pakistani cricket that the young guns are encouraged to play domestic cricket in either ENG/SA or NZ so they can get used to playing the moving ball. I think the bowling attack going into this game was wrong as they need 3 seamers and 1 spinner rather than 2 and 2. It will be very interesting to see where the game goes from here with all bookies having Pak still as big favourites. I think if Zim can add 40-50 tomorrow they are in the box seat.

  • t20cric on September 4, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    Pakistan really need to play better they can't just leave Ajmal to do everything. Pakistan fast bowlers should try to get the 3 remaining wickets early with the new ball to put some pressure off of Ajmal. Pakistan's second innings total should be about 320-340 or even more depending on how long it takes them to bowl Zimbabwe out. Pakistan players should know that just because they conceded a 1st innings lead doesn't mean they have lost this match as long as they score big runs in there second innings and get the remaining 13 wickets quick.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on September 4, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @Haleos Its not about run-rate you can play test match shots and maintain healthy run-rate but I am just talking about playing style not about run-rate mate.

    @indicricket Pakistani pace bowlers are far better than India they are just lacking experience I bet after 8 years or so Junaid Khan will be one of the best bowlers in world cricket in Test matches.

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Swan is better than Ajmal in experience as he bowels more at English and Australian pitches where as Ajmal bowels more at sub-continent pitches you remember 3-0 white wash of England in UAE Swan was there but Ajmal and even Rehman was far better than him.

  • UK_Chap on September 4, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    Calcu : The real truth is that Pakistan somehow manage to lower their skill to match their opponents, In doing so they end up looking mediocre and also end up giving much weaker teams an opportunity to look good. Then there are times they also somehow manage to raise their game to beat higher ranked teams when they are not expected to. The Pakistan cricket team can embarrass you greatly but we live for are the moments when they lift your spirit and leave you feeling amazed, when they play well they play brilliantly well, they burn red hot and they take your breath away, like the whirlwind that blew England away for 72 in the UAE.

  • UK_Chap on September 4, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge : You really cant handle the fact that Ajaml is a far superior bowler than Swann. When England toured the UAE Swann was relegated to worst bowler of the series even below Panesar. Swann can only bowl to left handers.On this flat wicket Ajmal is taking wickets and the match is not over by a long shot. Zimbabwe are playing in home conditions, and they are not the worst side in the world. If Zimbabwe are the worst skilled side in the world then why did England take one of its players as a coach?. I cant wait for Pakistan to tour England next year, we will see Swann and Ajaml head to head.

  • ilililililililililililililx on September 4, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Dont think you realise this but Zim is only 281 for 7. They dont have a long tail and now Pakistan knows the conditions. People say Ajmal is terrible and Swann is better but all I can say is look at the Icc rankings. Ajmal tested the batsmen on a 2nd day pitch and picked up 4 for. zim have careful batsmen and will play slowly. A lead of fifty isnt bad. Just calm down dont over react.

  • SaadRocx on September 4, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Its about time Pakistan should come back to its senses now..otherwise a Test loss wouldn't be acceptable to the nation..Haffez your time is over now..you're not a test batsman not bowler...you should retire now...Thank you.

  • Desihungama on September 4, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    So let me understand this. You've got 4-5 new guys coming to the Test side who have not played any cricket in past few weeks and you induct them into a Test match right away? Then, I hear that only Azhar Ali was seen practicing hard in the nets before the game. If we dissect this information what do we have? We have Khurram Manzoor, Asad Shafique, Younis Khan all failing at the top and Azhar Ali exceeding. I mean how stupid can you be to induct 4-5 fresh legs into a Test out of all formats? Then, we have Azhar Ali the lone warrior who I think should be made Test captain after Misbah. Hats off to Zimbabwe to show Pakistan rookies how to bat.

  • gsingh7 on September 4, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    very good show by zimbabwe . they need to extend lead to 150 and they can even win by an innings on a crumbling day 4 pitch. wishing chigumbura all the luck to score quick runs tomorrow and extend lead above 150 like ajmal did when he made 49. if ajmal wud have failed then zimbabwe wud have won comfortably,now they have to bowl well in second innings to win first test. if pak loses this series then they will slide back to 5th in rankings behind aus who lost 7 out of last 9 tests.gap between top 3 and rest is increasing day by day. good luck zimb tomorrow.

  • Mussab_XI on September 4, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    @Indicricket Brother go and check that only two faster bowlers are playing for Pakistan in this match,one is Rahat Ali the new lad and the other is JK who is only experienced quickie and he's one of the best,have performed on flat tracks of sub continent and he averages 27 in Tests and he is yet to play in SA,Aus,Eng,NZ (he played only 1 Test in SA this year and got injured so dont count that).

    Coming on to this match,iif any PCB member is reading this then for GOD sake bring Umar Akmal back in Test squad,this so called block block & geting out strategy is'nt test cricket and wont win you matches,the way Sik Raza and Waller played,that's the way to play.Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood are the need of this team and people like Hafeez,Asad Shafiq,Khurram Manzur should be dropped ASAP,why dont they try Sami Aslam?Again and again this batting is getting failed and they are not trying any new faces and thing,please sack DAV WHATMORE, Mohsin Hasan and Waqar Younis are best suited for this job

  • njr1330 on September 4, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    For Zim to be in the lead, when they have neither Brendan Taylor nor Kyle Jarvis, must be worrying for Pakistan.

  • on September 4, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Well played Zimbabwe, keep it up.

  • on September 4, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    The tussle continued after the completion of day two....as you rightly said they have proven their ability to make Pakistan bowlers work hard.... the pitch has got plenty in it.....given the fact 17 wickets fell in two days....

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 4, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Ajmal was terrible. Swann would have taken a bucket load of wickets here, he took 26 in his last series. Ajmal was totally impotent against one of the least skilled, if not the worst skilled side, in the world.

  • indicricket on September 4, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Aren't the Pakistani bowlers very Faaaast? Especially compared to military medium of the Indians. I hope the Pakistanis realise it is just not about just pace. None of the bowlers at present have the skill of Waqar, lets not even talk about Wasim, for me one of the best ever fast bowler. Both of them were not only fast, they had that special skill. Oh how I wish I could see that kind of skill.

  • likeintcricket on September 4, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    That's a very poor show by a reasonably good side. Pakistan will ultimately win this match but giving away the lead is shocking.

  • dirtydozen on September 4, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    why can't pakistan opt for yasir ali who played his only test against bangladesh in 2003. His average is 26.67 in fc games and has got a fc century as well. Sad to see players like tanvir and cheema went ahead of him.

  • on September 4, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Quite surprised to see some of the comments here, degrading our cricket. Well, guess what Zimbabwe are a quality team at home and they sense now or never at this point, whereas Pakistan is still playing with that laid back approach. Comments here say that Pakistan is playing with their full-strength team, are you kidding me there are at least 5 players that could have played this test match on merit and are either not selected or picked for the match. Our bowlers howled beautifully today, unlucky to not get most of it by some sensible batting by Zimbabwean's. People need to watch the match rather than seeing the scoreline at the end of the day. Give credit where it's due. Well played Zimbabwe, good luck Pakistan.

  • Engr_sohail on September 4, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Good work zimbabwe......keep it up Pak need to be offensive....needs captaincy change....misbah should play as player

  • on September 4, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Anyone know why Hafeez wasn't used? Is he injured? Either way I am happy to see Zimbabwe produce a good performance with both bat and ball, in spite of Ajmal's best efforts. Hope Zimbabwe will win this test match.

  • Shuraim on September 4, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    @Sir_ivor: For your information friend Sarfaraz Nawaz isn't father of reverse swing. it was Max Walker of Victoria/Australia. And he was involved ib a famous victory at Scg vs Pakistan saving a small target in the 70's .He learnt it by observing baseball players using sliva on the ball to curve it in the air i read this in an article on reverse swing on cricinfo.

  • grahaam on September 4, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Well done Andy Waller and Grant Flower , very good day for the batting coach especially....I wonder if the Pakistan Board are rethinking, and will offer Grant the lucrative roll of batting coach.

  • on September 4, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    why did hafeez not bowl?????????????????????????

  • mzm149 on September 4, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    It is once again proved that Rahat Ali is not capable enough to play for Pakistan. He is too wayward with his line and length. Only pace is not required of fast bowlers and even in pace he is just above average.

    Junaid Khan requires a solid partner with him in bowling. Wahab Riaz and Ehsan Adil should be played in next game along with Junaid Khan. Only one spinner is required in Zimbabwe. Only one of Ajmal or Rehman, whoever performs better in this game, should be there in next game.

  • Haleos on September 4, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk - they are playing T20 shots alright but the run rate is so 1880's. I think guys played faster even then.

  • Haleos on September 4, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Zim have done better in all departments so far. Good to see them fighting hard against top opponents and being ahead. I am surprised Pakistan has not run through Zim so far given that Taylor is not playing.

  • on September 4, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    good day for ZIM.. waller & Raza played beautifully and made it ZIM's day. it was not that easy to bat on but they played really well.

    Ajmal bowled well. Rahat bowled good with new ball only. Only worry for Pakistan was that Rehman looks rusty & doesnt look like posing any threat.

    Still in balance. If Pakistan can get remaining wickets early in the morning then they will be in good position. But have to bat better than 1st innings.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on September 4, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    I'll again say that Pakistan pace attack is not experienced enough and conditions are not supporting spin but still Ajmal is experienced enough to grab his share. As far as Pakistan's batting is concerned they are playing T20 shorts in Test match and that is going to cost them anyway.

    I wonder how will they play against SL and SA. Hope Pakistan can take the Test to 5th day now as they lost almost every match in SA in 4 days.

  • Batmanindallas on September 4, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    Either Zimbabwe has improved tremendously or Pakistani batting is really weak. I thought they had good bowlers what happened to all the guys that they have Rahat Ali as the front line bowler

  • on September 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    It's not about worst bowling unit of PAK but they are not skillful as Wasim, Waqar or Imran. People's expectations are quite reasonable when it comes to bowling unit of Pakistan. They are inexperienced too. But real credit to Zimbabweans for excellent batting approach. Test match is heading for close finish.

  • on September 4, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    The difference between two sides:1.Pakistan lost 3 wickets with new ball but were able to take 1 wkt only. 2. Pakistan run rate was around 2.6 in the whole innings but Zimbabwe are scoring well above 3 rpo. 3. Pakistan batsman struggled to score runs but Zimbabwe batsman are scoring freely. 4. Pakistan placed 4th in ICC rankings are playing like an under 16 team where as Zimbabwe are playing like a top and champion team. 5. Zimbabwe batsman are playing Ajmal freely like he is a part time bowler. 6. Pakistan is full strength team where as Zimbabwe is playing without there 3 main players but still Zimbabwe is dominating like a champion. Now the match will progress like this: Zimbabwe will take lead around 120-140 and bowl out Pakistan for something around 260-280 and will chase the target easily. So now Zimbabwe has good chance to win series against top team. All the best Zimbabwe.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 4, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    How is this team ranked 4 in the world!??? Something is wrong with the rankings surely, they have talented performers but can't put it all together. That said, well played Zimbabwe, they really have shown a lot of positive signs in recent times. If only the man in charge of the country could get things together then they might work their way towards being a consistently competitive side again.

  • on September 4, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    well played by ZIM waller & Raza doing very well. Bowling isnt that bad but they are playing beautifully...

    now looking at a big lead and pak will have to bat very well

  • gsingh7 on September 4, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    pak test team is at worst stage in last 2 decades. i never thought they wud struggle against zimbabwe but it looks like zimbabwe are going to win this test and may be 2nd test as well when brendan and williams come back. pak batting is fragile as seen when they crumbled on first day pitch with little help for bowlers. their so called world class bowling is wilting under pressure from last placed team in world rankings.now 178/3 .i dont know either zimbabwe have improved a lot after 5-0 whitewash by india or pakistan are making them look far better than they actually are.

  • Riz000 on September 4, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @ Ahmed Haaziq Younus khan was one who made 100 in south africa unlike so called legend haffez 46 runs in 6 innings pcb needs to drop hafeez asap from odi and t20 or continue to suffer for another at-least 8 years until haffez retries they should try harris sohail out go khuram

  • Sir_Ivor on September 4, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling has the tag of being a superb outfit, I know that they once had of all time greats like Imran Khan Sarfaraz ( the official father of reverse swing and possibly some other things related to bowling) Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, spin kings Mushtaq and Saqlain. These could take on any batting in the world. Over the years unfortunately they seem to have lost the plot and seem to find it difficult to justify their rating of the past. Junaid is a fair enough bowler but hardly merits being compared with Wasim as he has been in the past.. Asif was probably the best I have seen come out of Pakistan for a long while. Aamer too was very good. But both these unfortunately got diverted into malpractices.Today if one has to make an honest assessment, barring Ajmal, their attack is pretty ordinary Irfan notwithstanding ! And if he gets collared his countrymen keep heaping the blame on Misbah.It is very sad because he is a symbol of consistency and calm in the face of adversity.

  • just_chill_chill on September 4, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    omg zim are gonna thrash pak. pak team looks really scared and their so called batsmen and bowlers are choking as usual.

  • coolitbaby on September 4, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    wow another humiliation on the cards for pakistan. first thrashed by zim in odi, now in test matches also. pak team needs to understand their fluke players won't work in test matches.

  • jalebi_bai on September 4, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Pak team needs to go back and learn to play cricket. currently they don't qualify to be an international team. how can zim bowl you out for 250 and be 150 for 3? means that neither your batsmen nor bowlers are fit to play international cricket.

  • on September 4, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    y isnt umar gul playin?????????? nd y is younis khan playin they shud get sum young blood to platy bye dropping younus

  • coolitbaby on September 4, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    yaar, my advice to pakistan team. please stop playing international cricket until you are able to find at leaast 3-4 international level players. your batsmen don't even know how to hold cricket bat. and your bowlers are getting thrashed around by zimbabwe.

  • Sir_Ivor on September 4, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    I am quite amused by YorkshirePudding's observation about the definition of 'full flow'.What he meant in the second sentence was probably,'England's bowlers'.

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    this test match isnt over yet.

  • YorkshirePudding on September 4, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast, if you consider scoring 31 with an SR of 32 full flow you really need to consdier your definiition of full flow. Even Englands batsmen score quicker than that.

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Rightly said Pakistan is worst side at the moment therefore they are on no 4 in ICC test ranking :)

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Seeing a good show from Zimbawe players who are playing after a huge gap, As a true cricket fan i want to see them winning in this test match and want zimbawe team to get more test tours like before

  • calcu on September 4, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I am sorry to say this but the bitter truth is that pakistan is currently the worst test playing side. Their performance against zim proves the fact.

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Vusi Sibanda in full flow. Few better sights in international cricket right now....

    Pakistan seamers bowled very well. Deserved more for their efforts but unfortunately some balls in the batch tend not to be as good as the rest, and I fear this one was particularly bad. It simply refused to swing in and really didn't do justice to the seamers. Unless Rehman&Ajmal work their magic, it will be a very long day in the field for Pakistan. Judging by how bounce troubled our guys, even an Irfan short of full fitness was a must. With this ball simple line & length has little zip & movement.

    Having said that our batsmen deserve commendation as well. They were watchful and resisted smashing balls which carried on wide. With Misbah continuing to be generous instead of resigning himself to spin from both ends for this entire session, I expect the boys to carry on picking runs off the seamers. Zim are in a very good position. I hope they continue to play positively. Crucial session for Pak.

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Vusi Sibanda in full flow. Few better sights in international cricket right now....

    Pakistan seamers bowled very well. Deserved more for their efforts but unfortunately some balls in the batch tend not to be as good as the rest, and I fear this one was particularly bad. It simply refused to swing in and really didn't do justice to the seamers. Unless Rehman&Ajmal work their magic, it will be a very long day in the field for Pakistan. Judging by how bounce troubled our guys, even an Irfan short of full fitness was a must. With this ball simple line & length has little zip & movement.

    Having said that our batsmen deserve commendation as well. They were watchful and resisted smashing balls which carried on wide. With Misbah continuing to be generous instead of resigning himself to spin from both ends for this entire session, I expect the boys to carry on picking runs off the seamers. Zim are in a very good position. I hope they continue to play positively. Crucial session for Pak.

  • calcu on September 4, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I am sorry to say this but the bitter truth is that pakistan is currently the worst test playing side. Their performance against zim proves the fact.

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Seeing a good show from Zimbawe players who are playing after a huge gap, As a true cricket fan i want to see them winning in this test match and want zimbawe team to get more test tours like before

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Rightly said Pakistan is worst side at the moment therefore they are on no 4 in ICC test ranking :)

  • YorkshirePudding on September 4, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast, if you consider scoring 31 with an SR of 32 full flow you really need to consdier your definiition of full flow. Even Englands batsmen score quicker than that.

  • on September 4, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    this test match isnt over yet.

  • Sir_Ivor on September 4, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    I am quite amused by YorkshirePudding's observation about the definition of 'full flow'.What he meant in the second sentence was probably,'England's bowlers'.

  • coolitbaby on September 4, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    yaar, my advice to pakistan team. please stop playing international cricket until you are able to find at leaast 3-4 international level players. your batsmen don't even know how to hold cricket bat. and your bowlers are getting thrashed around by zimbabwe.

  • on September 4, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    y isnt umar gul playin?????????? nd y is younis khan playin they shud get sum young blood to platy bye dropping younus

  • jalebi_bai on September 4, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Pak team needs to go back and learn to play cricket. currently they don't qualify to be an international team. how can zim bowl you out for 250 and be 150 for 3? means that neither your batsmen nor bowlers are fit to play international cricket.