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

Sibanda's pain, and a father-son moment

Plays of the Day from the second day of the Harare Test

Body blows of the day
Rahat Ali, last seen on a disappointing tour of South Africa, seemed a different person as he opened the bowling with precision, getting the ball to swerve in and test the batsmen's ability to leave. Vusi Sibanda misread twice and he paid the price. The first time Sibanda decided to play and was struck on the right forearm. He grimaced while being magic sprayed but soldiered on. Two overs later, he was presented with one he just did not know how to handle, he and turned his back on the ball as he attempted to leave. He was hit on the back of the ribcage and masked the pain with a wry smile.

Down-to-earth moment of the day
Sikandar Raza was told he would bat in one of the most important positions - No.4 - on debut and appeared rightfully chuffed with the responsibility. He was walking back from the nets when a group of fans asked him where he would bat. He held up four fingers proudly and started to twirl his bat in the air and catch it. It all looked quite cool until, on the third attempt, gravity brought him down to earth and the bat fell to the floor. The supporters giggled and a slightly embarrassed Raza walked away. Luckily for him, he managed to hold on to the bat better when at the crease and made a half-century.

Sledge of the day
Chris Mpofu reported for training again today as he makes a steady recovery from injury and chose to watch some cricket after completing his drills. He was seated at the newly-named Centurion Pub and had just seen two of his team-mates, Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza, dismissed off successive balls. Masakadza was bowled by Saeed Ajmal; he had played for the offbreak but was beaten by the straighter one. When Ajmal returned to field on the boundary, Mpofu had a message for him. "You're lucky it's not me batting out there," he said. 'I'm the only one who can pick you." Ajmal grinned and had a quick reply. "You're lucky you weren't bowling when I was batting," he said, after having made 49. Touche.

Father-son moment of the day
Malcolm Waller knew he was playing for his place. With Raza succeeding on debut and Brendan Taylor set to comeback after paternity leave, Waller knew without runs his would be the first name off the team sheet. He built his innings through picking spin and scored quickly. Off his 63rd delivery, he brought up his fifty with a push behind point and Andy Waller, the coach but also his father, chose to be the latter first. His arms were raised, he clapped in delight, he high-fived Grant Flower and beamed at the change-room. "That's my son, that's the kid I coach," he seemed to say.

Cheer of the day
Even Zimbabwe's most enthusiastic fans know not to get too excited when it looks like their team is establishing a decent position because things can change so quickly. They were only 14 runs behind when the sixth wicket fell and the chances of a lead looked good. However, runs were cheered with trepidation rather than gusto until the misfield that gave Zimbabwe an advantage many would not have dreamed possible against this Pakistan attack. Prosper Utseya pulled Ajmal to short square leg and it seemed like only a single was on. But a fumble allowed the ball to scuttle through for four and take Zimbabwe one ahead of Pakistan. The wooden stand where the supporters' club sits could not have had more than 25 people but they made the noise of at least ten times that number as they celebrated.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vinod on September 5, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    liked ajmals reply to the sledge! sledging could be this way too....hmmm nice. i can imagine the expression of ajmal when he replied it.

  • Vedant on September 5, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    zimbabve is doing very well here if they manage to get a lead of 100 runs they can win the match

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    I am very happy for Zimbabwe. They are fighting hard despite so much crisis and in absence of so many regular members. I want ICC to interfere and help Zim to get out of financial crisis. Zim is very special to cricket. Thumbs up from Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Good show Zim!! If they pull this off we will be celebrating for quite some time!

  • John on September 5, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    I would like to add that when Tino Mawoyo got a thin edge to the keeper, he walked without waiting for the umpire's decision.

  • Jo on September 5, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Call it "Fun Moments". Sledge has a totally different thing in today's meaning.

  • David on September 5, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    @ vatsap. This Zim team is shaping up very well. I'd fancy their chances against either of the Ashes teams, but Zim of course could never win because the other blokes would be tying their shoelaces, endlessly resetting the field, changing gloves, bowling at 11 over an hour - whatever they needed to do to scratch out a draw!

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    ballance hopes to play for england, de grandhomme for new zealand

  • Syed on September 4, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Such a calm and peaceful test (putting behind payment crisis for now). If Zimbabwe win this then that would be brilliant!