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
15

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

  • GrindAR on September 5, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Like ZW for their purity in playing Cricket. They are the ones after WI, who are good in maintaining the essence and attributes of the Gentleman's Cricket. Sad, that their financials does not support the sport flourish consistently.

  • Pathiyal 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.

  • kidbuu00700 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

  • 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.

  • on September 5, 2013, 7:03 GMT

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

  • jw76 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.

  • GrindAR on September 5, 2013, 3:31 GMT

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

  • Greatest_Game 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!

  • on September 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

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

  • SyedAreYouDumb 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!

  • GrindAR on September 5, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Like ZW for their purity in playing Cricket. They are the ones after WI, who are good in maintaining the essence and attributes of the Gentleman's Cricket. Sad, that their financials does not support the sport flourish consistently.

  • Pathiyal 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.

  • kidbuu00700 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

  • 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.

  • on September 5, 2013, 7:03 GMT

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

  • jw76 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.

  • GrindAR on September 5, 2013, 3:31 GMT

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

  • Greatest_Game 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!

  • on September 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

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

  • SyedAreYouDumb 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!

  • geminianrahul on September 4, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @Matty: Sean Ervine opted out because of pay issues and Gary Ballance is playing for England. I am not sure if he can play for two nations at the same time.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 4, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Astonished Zimbabwe chose to ignore Sean Ervine, Gary Ballance and Colin de Grandhomme. Lazy selection!

  • Bakht_Jamal on September 4, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Awesome Moments!! Congrats to Zim.

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Last time around it was Price & Younis Khan, now Mpofu & Ajmal having their bit of fun. Wonderful.

  • vatsap on September 4, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    How very innocent, the way the Zim play their cricket. It is almost amateur considering their wage crisis in the back ground. A nice change from the Ashes which had ex-Captains, commentators and experts on both sides bickering till the end

  • vatsap on September 4, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    How very innocent, the way the Zim play their cricket. It is almost amateur considering their wage crisis in the back ground. A nice change from the Ashes which had ex-Captains, commentators and experts on both sides bickering till the end

  • ZCFOutkast on September 4, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Last time around it was Price & Younis Khan, now Mpofu & Ajmal having their bit of fun. Wonderful.

  • Bakht_Jamal on September 4, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Awesome Moments!! Congrats to Zim.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 4, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Astonished Zimbabwe chose to ignore Sean Ervine, Gary Ballance and Colin de Grandhomme. Lazy selection!

  • geminianrahul on September 4, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @Matty: Sean Ervine opted out because of pay issues and Gary Ballance is playing for England. I am not sure if he can play for two nations at the same time.

  • SyedAreYouDumb 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!

  • on September 5, 2013, 1:07 GMT

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

  • Greatest_Game 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!

  • GrindAR on September 5, 2013, 3:31 GMT

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

  • jw76 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.