Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare, 3rd day

Younis defies buoyant Zimbabwe

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

September 5, 2013

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 249 and 168 for 4 (Younis 76*, Misbah 52) lead Zimbabwe 327 (Waller 70, Chigumbura 69, Raza 60, Ajmal 7-95) by 90 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Younis Khan acknowledges his fighting half-century, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare, 3rd day, September 5, 2013
Younis Khan played another combative innings © AFP

All through this Test match, there's been a wait for Zimbabwe's inexperienced team to falter. Sure they bowled well when the pitch was fresh in the first session of the game, but could they do it when the track eased up? They did. Sure they bowled well on the first day, but could their brittle batting stand up to Pakistan's highly rated bowling? They did.

The third day was supposed to be the best day for batting in Harare; would their new-look bowling be able to do the job? They certainly started well, bagging three early wickets to consolidate on the 78-run advantage they had after the first innings, causing plenty of excitement over the possibility of Zimbabwe's first Test win over a top eight side in 12 years.

Then they came up against the seasoned firefighters, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who with some old-fashioned Test batting helped Pakistan erase the deficit. There has been a clamour in Pakistan for inducting more youngsters in the team, but it was Pakistan's two oldest batsmen who revived the side from a precarious 23 for 3 with a 116-run partnership.

Both Younis and Misbah were content with preserving their wicket, not searching for quick runs. They were happy to leave everything they could and put away the flashy shots - the reverse-sweep was brought only to counter a 7-2 leg-side field when offspinner Prosper Utseya was operating round the wicket. The pair neutralised Zimbabwe's limited attack for more than three hours and though they were plenty of half-chances - stumping appeals, inside-edges and bottom edges - the wicket proved elusive.

Younis ended the day unbeaten on 76, a significant innings for a man who had only one 50-plus score in his past 10 Test innings, and was phased out of the ODI side earlier this year. He has made his name as a man who scores when the team is down, a reputation he underlined with another combative innings.

Though the favourite adjective to describe Pakistan cricket is 'mercurial', there is one near certainty when they play - a Misbah half-century. In 10 of his past 13 international innings, he has passed 50, almost all of them after the top order has combusted. On none of those occasions has he gone on to a hundred, and he didn't today either.

Zimbabwe would have been downcast if Pakistan had gone to stumps with only three wickets down. Instead, soon after Misbah reached his fifty, he pushed a catch to cover. Zimbabwe knew just how big a moment it was. The bowler Shingi Masakadza set off on a celebratory run, before pumping his arms and screaming at the skies. In contrast, Misbah was on one knee, bat on the floor with his arms covering his face.

Younis and Shafiq safely negotiated the final 11 overs of the day, taking the lead to 90 and ensuring two specialist batsmen were still in the middle.

The rescue operation was needed after some good work from Zimbabwe's bowlers. As in the first innings, they produced the early breakthroughs not with magic deliveries but by sticking to the basics of line and length.

The sixth over of the innings, bowled by Tinashe Panyangara, which produced the wicket of Khurram Manzoor showcased their method of operation - pitching the ball up and constantly attacking the stumps, making the batsman play. With several deliveries swerving away in the over, Manzoor decided to shoulder arms to one, which turned out to be a straight ball that thudded onto his pads. It looked a touch high but the umpire thought otherwise, and for the second time in the game, Manzoor's innings ended early through a tough decision.

Azhar Ali, who played a vital role in rescuing Pakistan after their top-order failed in the first innings, couldn't do the job this time, as the accurate Panyangara had him trapped lbw for a duck. Neither of the opening bowlers provided any cheap runs, and Panyangara's figures read 7-4-6-2 at one stage.

Mohammad Hafeez has had a forgettable 2013 in Tests, and could have added a golden duck to his string of low scores this year, but his first-ball edge landed short of slips. He didn't last too long anyway, falling tamely after driving a low catch to short cover. His dismissal for 16 left him with a paltry 64 runs in eight innings this year.

That strikes only buoyed a resolute Zimbabwe, whose lower order had hung around for more than an hour in the morning session to fatten what had been a slender overnight lead. Saeed Ajmal's variations proved too much for them, though, and he wiped out the final three wickets to end up with a seven-for, the second of his career. His threat looms large over Zimbabwe over the next two days as well.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Younas once again gas proved that he belongs to the class of those batsmen who will be remembered for their ability to perform in pressure. It can be said safely for this particular match that the difference between the two teams was Younas Khan. Put him and Ajmal aside, I see no difference between the two teams.

And for Zimbabwe, they showed a super discipline in all the areas of match and didn't let their out of the ground struggle for their rights disturb their inside the ground struggle.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

I have to completly agree with you greatest game and it is very nice to hear a non pakistani perspective. it is illogical and plain frustration that people take out on Misbah. they cant accept that their are no batsmen coming up and they somehow blame it on Misbah. Given that he bats at his pace, but all other batsmen needs to find their own pace. Like younis did. Misbah is a ntional treasure a leader and perhaps not just on the field but off it as well. To me he is the only person who brings respect of any kind to Pakistan.

Posted by Basharat12 on (September 6, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

I reckon 250+ would be good score.....Pak need to bring Yousf back n d squad

Posted by SandipManjrekar on (September 6, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Super Special from Younis Khan under most difficult circumstances. You beauty man!!!!!!! Misbah & Younis are the two architect of PAK revival. Let's see where match pendulum goes.

Posted by Marktc on (September 6, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Is nobody going to give some credit to how well Zimbabwe are playing..

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (September 6, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Thats why I wanted Younis Khan to stay as when he stays he scores big unlike Misbah who I knew will fall after 50 as he is just a hard worker but Younis Khan is real class I hope he can bat through the day and as many runs as possible at-least Pakistan can ensure that they don't lose this Test match and in second Test they can come-up with good team and at-least show some fight.

And one last thing well played Zimbabwe Pakistan is an ordinary team no doubt but Zimbabwe looks very discipline in their bating, bowling and field placements.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Ask any captain or a team to play away from home for continuous four years and earn a ranking of #4 ? that's why I respect Misbah and current team more than any Pakistani side that has ever played .. maybe we Pakistani fans need understand the cricket , its more of a game of nerves and feel than just smashing the red ball away ..!

Posted by Ray24 on (September 6, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

Feel bad for Khurram Manzoor. He showed in his short stays that he can tackle the new ball, but he was given out incorrectly in both innings. DRS would've ruled over the decisions.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (September 6, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@all:We don't need these half centuries when it's of no use..It's not like Pak team cannot run without Misbah..Give a free hand to all other Players & let all of them do tuk tuk..You will see that players like Umer Akmal & other youngsters would start scoring 50's when playing like that.I dont remember when was the last time Misbah helped Pak chase down a total?All he do is complete his 50 & then bye bye...Back to the dressing Room..People Criticize Sachin for playing for his 100's..His 100's At least helps his team to win matches..Our Captain gets out always at the crucial moment when the team needs him the most.I have never seen any settled player getting out like that again & again & again.. Just answer this question: Misbah is the highest runs scorer in ODI's so far this year..How many matches Pak won out of all those matches in which Misbah scored a 50?Now i know the best argument i would get is that 'All other 10 players also have to perform & only Misbah cant be blamed"huh!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 6, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

@ Solidsnake. Over the last 10 years, Pakistan has had four top tier test batsmen. Their averages are: Younis - 56.94, Yousuf - 55.27, Inzamam - 53.97, Misbah - 49.06. (For perspective, Misbah averaged 0.76 less than Tendulkar.) Over those ten years, Aus had 4 batsmen who averaged higher than Misbah, India had 3, SA 3, SL 2, WI 1, Eng 0, NZ 0, Zim 0, Bangladesh 0. (Minimum 15 matches, minimum 4 years played: Zim & Bang min 10 matches)

Your criticism of Misbah is baseless and unjustified. It does not matter that he does not pile on big hundreds, it matters that he is consistent: more than any other, he is the man who gives Pakistan a platform, a chance of a decent score, the possibility of being competitive. The plain fact is that only Younis is better. There are no other batsmen for Misbah to put pressure on. From a non-Pakistani perspective, Misbah is a national treasure. For you to hate him is illogical, & that says everything about you, and nothing about Misbah!

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

Great Test Match and Pakistan team showing its natural game. If today Pakistan could resist till Tea, then the target will be tough for ZIM, coz 4th Innings and 5th day of the Pitch and DOSRA MAGICIAN.

Posted by Haiderpakawsome on (September 6, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

@Solid_Snake, Don't understand why people like you keep criticising Misbah. The numbers that you have shown are evident how consistent his batting is. He comes at a position when Pak is already down 3-4 wickets at a cheap score. Then he ensures that we come out of the trouble and then he attempts to accelerate (which is his natural game). I think you should be blaming the other top order instead of Misbah. Anyway, if this game as far as Pak can give lead of 250+ then it is more than enough to restrict Zim in 4th inning. Have some faith in our bowlers

Posted by RaadQ on (September 6, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Pakistan's batting worries a bit similar to that of Australia's. Whereas Australia is too keen to keep youngsters, Pakistan is too keen to keep oldsters. Hafeez is like Waston, he can only be included in the team as an all-rounder in his current form. And like Watson, he needs to be moved down the order, he is simply not good enough outside of home. Pakistan also need a kevin pietersen or warner in the team, someone with aggression to help in certain situations. My pick would be umar akmal, with the aim of grooming him into the wicket keeper role if he recovers and performs good enough in the ODI. I think Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are long term replacements for Misbah and Younis, and their replacements should be between Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam [best domestic record] or Umar Amin, not tested and failed oldsters who keep getting rotated into the squad somehow!

Posted by mzkmdus on (September 5, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

Here are some statistics that speak for themselves. Comparing the age and experience of the current test line-up versus England (pick virtually any tier 1 cricketing nation and you will get the same result). Pakistan: Average age: 30, Tests played/player: 25 England: Average age: 25, Tests played/player: 56 It's hard to win when you are 5 years older on average and have played less than half the test cricket of your younger opponents. If we want to win, we must find a way to play more test cricket. This is not just about poor selection or poor performance. It's lack of experience that's hard to recover from.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 23:24 GMT)

Why didn't Ahmed Shehzad play? Are we trying to instill a lack of confidence in the team by playing trial and student international players . The team needs confidence and we are not playing either Ahmed or Umar. What is going on. International matches are not venues to groom young players when we hardly get any international matches.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

@Iddy, I totally agree with you. Hafeez should play in ODI and T20 only as a bowler and lower order batsman. Misbah should only play in tests. Umar Akmal should be made captain in all three formats and keeper in ODI and T20. Adnan is a good keeper for tests. No place for Kamran Akmal. Waiting to see M Aamer back in the team..

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

If Pakistan gets any where near 250 mark, i reckon it will be all over for Zimbabwe .I say this because pitch gets a little more rough in the last couple of days and Pakistan relying mainly on spin bowling would be favorites to win-Just a personal opinion

Posted by Chaudry_Cricket on (September 5, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

Good innings from Misbah and Younis. Hope Asad and Adnan bat well. We will need to set a target of around 300 because this pitch has a few cracks but the longer we bat the more the cracks will open and the spinners will be a handful.

Azhar was unlucky got a bad decision. Manzoor has a horrible techniqune he is a lbw candidate from ball 1.

Hafeez is a selfish player and I hope that Misbah and Whatmore grow a spine and drop him.

Posted by BravoBravo on (September 5, 2013, 22:21 GMT)

One thing I still don't understand that why cricket audience mostly vilify BD, and ZIM teams while pointing no fingers at NZ or IND (most white washed team in entire history of cricket). PAK has not scored 300+ score often but how many teams scored 300+ against PAK in any format of the game (remembering that PAK has not played an international match on their home grounds for last several years). ZIM scored 300+ against PAK means something that they are playing with their heart and soul, even AUS, ENG, and SA have a difficult time scoring 250+ against PAK. Mr. Hafeez needs to understand the importance of test matches, he seems to be very much in T20 mode. You don't earn respect by playing T20. Mr. Hafeez don't try to be Chris Gayle or BB McCullum, they just play one inning of substance per calendar year. Kudos to ZIM. Keep up good work. Younis Khan is the best player in test cricket to shoulder the responsibility when team need. His record in second innings is beyond excellence.

Posted by mzm149 on (September 5, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Hafeez should retain his T20 captaincy and play wherever he likes. He should play as a bowling all rounder in ODIs and should bat where bowling all rounders bat I.e at no. 5 or no. 6. But he he should stay away from test cricket.

Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali should be permanent members of test team - in fact they have the potential of becoming future captains. Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal should be given chance to play in test team so that they can learn the art of staying at wicket and should not be restricted from playing their natural game.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (September 5, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

PCB should do operation clean up, first fire selectors, then players who wasted time and continue failed. At the end of the show PCB should fire Mr. tuktuk forever.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (September 5, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

Wrong decision from Selectors, they should keep Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Umar Amin, Sohaib Maqsood, Shan Massood, Haris Sohail in TEST series.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (September 5, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

I don't understand why Mr. tuktuk picked Khurum Manzoor, Adnan Akmal, Asad Safiq, Rahat Ali in TEST Series. They all failed players and hasn't capability to play with county cricket.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (September 5, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

Sohiab Maqsood looked good in ODI, He deserves to play TEST. Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad should be opener in TEST series too.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (September 5, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

Weak batting from Manzoor, Asad Safiq, Hafeez, Adnan Akmal they not deserve in PAK TEST TEAM.

Posted by Herath-UK on (September 5, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

We clamour for new blood but it is the old that has stood good at crisis time almost always. I see a similarity with Sri Lanka here. While giving credit to Zim for their fighting spirit I hope Pak lower order will be good enough to put a reasonable total to pull through. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by Iddy on (September 5, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

What I have seen is that for now Pakistan need Misbah for tests only and Hafeez for ODI's and T20's only if playing as an allrounder. I would love to see Umar Akmal in all formats when he is well enough. Some youngsters like Amin and Maqsood need time in tests and ODI please PCB. Mix experience with youth. Also having seen the pace attack for me for now only Junaid, Irfan and Gul when fit are good enough. I am not impressed with Riat Ali, Anwar Ali or Asad Ali. Also Kamran Akmal should play both ODI'S and T20's as an opener.

Posted by jb633 on (September 5, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Why do Pakistan keep on criticizing Misbah? I can't work out why this guy takes so much punishment when he has effectively kept Pakistan afloat for the last 3 years. I wish Misbah would retire out of spite and show all his naysayers just how good a cricketer he really is. Misbah you are a class act, all the way from England. You would get in any test side.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

@solid_snake the pressure misbah puts on others? What about the pressure our top 3 put on him? CONSTANTLY! Misbah can attack he's just not allowed to because his wld be the 4th in under 20 overs! We need to fix the top order. Also the fact that misbah doesnt have a 100 attests for his team spirit, usually around the time he reaches 50 the team has stabilized so he starts hitting and gets out in the process as you wld expect from anyone less than the top 10 sloggers

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Pakistan have treated Zimbabwe bowling attack like they we facing Steyn and co. Both Younus and Misbah should have scored 100s with the amount of balls they faced even in a test match. Still expect Pakistan to win but they are making it more of a game then it should be.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

there is a reason why 5days of cricket game its called TEST match its a test for everyone...you will find your BEST CRICKET team in this format of the game which pakistan haven't got it...the selectors are the reason behind all this ....in this form of the game your players can get back their form and they not giving them the chance

Posted by Solid_Snake on (September 5, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

Has anyone noticed the last few matches of Misbah ul haq?

53,52 in the current test match..Then comes the ODI,s..67,83,63,53,75,52,55,96.. Seems to me that this guy plays for only his Half Century.Once he gets done with it.he simply throws his wicket away..What a shame to see our Captain playing like that.He is currently the highest runs scorer so far in ODI's this year but how he throws away his wicket as soon as he reaches his 50,that's pure selfishness..That's why i hate him.People say that he always scores runs..What they dont see is how Misbah puts up pressure on other batsman

Posted by Troyd on (September 5, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

Success in this game will depend on Vusi, Hami & Tino. If they stay in and score slowly we might draw (unlikely) If they stay in and score quick we will probably win (Primero Dios!!) If they get out cheap - too much pressure on the middle order & we will lose (hope not)

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

"For all those critics who now become quiet habitual of bashing Misbah almost foreeverything but they should know the fact if Pakistan is even able to win this and the previous series against W.I only because of Misbah's heroics.... He us the man of disaster for Pakistan and Younus too need to play a bit more for them knowing his experience is helpful for the young players to groom!"...

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

Pak selectors never learn from their mistakes. They couldn't find out a good wicket keeper batsman in domestic circle. Really don't know what Hafeez is doing in test team, Umer Amin can be good choice & I am surprised Pak is struggling against Zim even they are playing with all of their strength.

Posted by likeintcricket on (September 5, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

When are they start producing talented yougster?. The struggle against Zimbabwae shows how badly they need good batsman and better discipline bowlers. The likes of Rahat, Hafeez and to some extent even Misbah needs to say good bye to Test cricket. When you are in good form you should cash it and score big. But Misbah and Hafeez are ordinary players.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Good fight back by Pakistan after loosing three quick wickets. On that note, Hafeez should say good bye to Test cricket and focus primarily on T20's and maybe ODI's, while Misbah should limit his stay to Test matches. He just doesn't have in him to play a big innings or captains innings, all he does is play a selfish role and leave it to others. Yes his runs were important, but common when will he play a innings which is beyond getting to his useless fifties. Pakistan should have this game in their bag none the less, if they can get a lead of 200+ Inshallah. To all the haters out here, please watch something that is not pathetic that way you won't have to make a round trip back to the forums. Pakistan is 4th in the ICC ranking the same way India manages to be 3rd, after being humiliated abroad and at home. If that sounds okay to you, than Pakistan's ranking is no worse. Lastly, do appreciate good cricket by Zimbabwean's, don't expect them to be spectators.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (September 5, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

This is promising to be the most intriguing Test match ever witnessed in Zimbabwe! No doubt that must've been the flattest & most dispirited tea break our boys have ever had. In the end they got the needed break through to make them sleep better tonight.

During Younis&Misbah's partnership one couldn't tell if the fans were asleep or watching grass grow beneath them, but I hope our batsmen were watching ahead of their chase because that was Test batting of the highest order!

Although, taking just one boundary off Panyangara's 78 balls, and allowing Hami to have his way should in the end condemn Pakistan to a loss. I felt that was excessive! They were shown too much respect.

@Rashid, getting Taylor to keep is tempting, as we can fit both Malcolm&Williams to make us a top 7 side. It would be a huge gamble because Taylor's keeping is the worst in living memory, but worth it. For Raza to miss out would be devastating. I think Taibu will return to cricket during our domestic FC season.

Posted by t20cric on (September 5, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

For Pakistan to win they need to: -reach 200 in 15-20 overs -Younis reaches century -Younis-Shafiq partnership reaches 100+ -Adnan and bowlers score 90-100 combined -they do all of the above mentioned stuff in 2 sessions -in third session bowl well and get 4 quick wickets leaving ZIm at about 70-80/4 with no set batsmen on the crease

If most of these things don't happen then it will be either a Zimbabwe win or it will be a draw.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

ZIM again finished on top. with Misbah's wicket they have got an opening. Its now on Younas & Asad to drag it as far as they can. Worry will be new ball and morning conditions. ZIM still on driving seat . They bowled with discipline and got the reward. Top 3 from pak played very bad. Azhar & Khurram got a hard one but they played their part in that dismissal.

Hafeez should simply take rest from test cricket. if he is not bowling then what is he doing in team? Cant be in as a batsman. if he bowls then may be.

@jda123: Rankings are based on performance. so they deserved or not deserved is not a concern. they played well and reached their. like all other countries have.

Posted by CricketChat on (September 5, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

All too familiar plot being played out here. Pak middle and lower order will rake up precious runs and set a target of 300+. Zim will collapse under 200. So near yet so far for Zim for the umpteenth time for the minnows.

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (September 5, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

This pitch is going to stay good for batting until end of this test, Matches played on hear however take a bit more turn and against ajmal, Zimbabwe will struggle. They are getting out to him because of his name not because of his bowling but Ajmal is a spin wizard and if debuted much much earlier and had Home games been in Pakistan he would have beaten Warne's wicket tally.

Posted by Jda123 on (September 5, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Cant see Younis getting that century in the conditions in the morning, he will be out within 6 overs in the morning, it will depend on Akmal and the bowlers (Rehman & Ajmal)

Pakistan is just poor, Umar Akmal as a WK and batsman would be very ideal in the SA tour but with his condition, I cant see it happening.

Pakistan should be at #9 in the Test ranking, no way they deserve #4, WI, NZ, SL all beat them.

Posted by uk2009 on (September 5, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

what is Hafeez doing in the test team?..please throw him out and bring in some youngster in his place what is Rahat doing in the team when he had already failed in very helpful conditions in South Africa. poor selection yet again. when will they learn?

Posted by Fineline on (September 5, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Misbah's wicket is a real bonus for Zimbabwe.He tried his level best but just lost concentration eventually.I hope Asad Shafiq and Younus Khan make a good partnership tomorrow and take Pakistan's lead to at at least 220-230 which is a fighting target.Good luck Pakistan.

Posted by Rexton87 on (September 5, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

If you can call Hafeez a 20 , 30 man you can safely call Misbah 50, 60, 70 man. As soon he crosses 50 his chances of dismissal rises to 90% . Is it due to all the toil and concentration he invest emotionally technically and psychologically which drains him ?? This is something for a Sports Psychologist to think and help him with. He is reaching 50 after 50 after 50 without converting them to big hundred or even small hundred , time to think. Positive and constructive analysis welcome from all friends and lovers of the game. We want to see this enigmatic and dependable batsman achive more .....

Posted by aalkafi on (September 5, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

Munir Shah - lead of 300; o yea! Think more of 200 and if you are lucky that might do it. Pray! I also saw another comment what Younis is doing here - this is what he is doing called anchoring. And why Misbah is still on the team - find replacement for these two in a hurry. And I am pretty sure they are not Hafeez or Afridi

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

good little partnership from old guard but misbah's wicket has again gave an opening to ZIM. That lead was proving very crucial now.

Younas , Asad & Akmal have to play big to give some chance to pakistan. atleast 200.

It will be very much clear by the stumps today. At the moment ZIM are on driving seat.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

a lead of 300 will be enough for zim in fourth inning.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Zim r doing a gr8 job.... bt they mst remember what happenend against nzl.... try 2 make sure dat thats nt gonna happen again. anywaY, SO FAR WHAT THEY'V done is superb enough

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

@Simbarashe: with no home cricket, few test matches and all those on foreign pitches, what would you be expecting? Don't compare the present Pakistan Team to teams of days gone by. Whatever they are achieving is outstanding given the circumstances.

Posted by ProdigyA on (September 5, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

Lost an ODI against Zim and now on the verge of losing a Test. How pathetic this team can be.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

Strong performance from Zimbabwe, they are just playing a good honest brand of cricket and doing it very well, a long way to go here but they are certainly on the way to making a game of this!

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (September 5, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

Zimbabwe need to bat cautiously in their second innings to win the match. I remember the game against New Zealand two years ago. Zimbabwe were 265/3, chasing 366 for a win, and eventually got bundled out for 331. This pitch looks okay but even 200 won't be an easy target. Watch out for Ajmal on the fifth day.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Not sure if I'm watching Zim vs Pakistan or Zim vs Pakistan A???

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

Lead gone with Misbah and Younis settled in, better watch out Zimbabwe. Tomorrow morning can be crucial.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (September 5, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

I think Pak team is in for another humiliation.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (September 5, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Interesting game here. Zim have done amazingly well so far but if Pak get 150 lead I can see it being too much for Zim particularly with Ajmal bowling on a wearing 4 inns pitch.

Posted by Resultpredictor on (September 5, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

I dont know why every one is finding fault with Pakistan team. Why every one is not praising Zimbabwe. With their strike bowler retired, captain on leave, best batsman Williams not playing due to payment issue, Zimbabwe is still playing wonderful cricket and are on the verge of creating history. With all the off field issues, Zimbabwe is playing good cricket. This is the best performance I have seen from Zimbabwe since the Flower brothers and Heath Streak retired. Hats off to Zimbabwe.

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (September 5, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

@ Khurram S Chaudhry Younis Khan was perfect when Pakistan was 1 down in 6 overs as he is playing at that position since long time. He is experienced enough to deal with the situation why send him after Azhar Ali who and messing up the batting order, now if Younis fails we are sitting ducks. Misbah can't score big like Younis does, only man with 313 best in Pakistani side.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Misbah and younis batting, time to go to sleep, instead of watching them batting at the speed of turtle.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 5, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

@CrICkeeet, Exactly what i was thinking. A lot of irish and zim fans complain about lack of matches, why not organise a lot of them together??

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

@Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (September 5, 2013, 10:50 GMT): its the job of No 3 batsman to be able to play some part of innings with new ball. he may even come in to bat at 2nd ball of the innings. who else could come to bat if not Azhar in 10 th over?

Are you suggesting that pakistan should start batting with Ajmal, rehman & junaid? not a bad idea after seeing batting by junaid & ajmal in 1st innings.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

@ZCFOutkast: I have been a fan of Zimbabwe team for a long time, i still remember the Peshawar test of 1999 in which Neil Johnson, Olonga and Mbangwa outplayed us . I think Taylor should join next match as wicket keeper dropping Mutumbami will further strengthen zimbabwe batting, while williams can join in for sikandar raza or malcolm waller.

Posted by Haleos on (September 5, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

Go Zimbabwe Go. Performances like this from the Underdogs need to be applauded and supported. at least by the neutral fans.

Posted by roook on (September 5, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Wake up PCB or else it will be to late

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

3 down...

khurram & Azhar got a harsh from umpire davis.. especially Azhar's.. khurram played his part in that.. and hafeez should better take rest from test.

23/3 & i think hard for Pakistan now.. Zim can sense a win here..

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (September 5, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

I knew promoting Azhar Ali at 1 down especially when Manzoor got out in 1st 10 overs. Now this move may cost Pakistan a Test match ball was still new and they wasted best batsman of the team as a night watchman. Great captaincy by Misbah, not sure where he fits now it seems that he is also not good for Test matches as well.

Posted by Jda123 on (September 5, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

O geez Pakistan are just terrible, they should just abandon the test match against SA, it is going to be an embarrassment,

Posted by CrICkeeet on (September 5, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Zim really impressed me. bt 1 thing i cant understand, y dont ireland or zim invite each other.. ire vs zim 5 match odi series can b a gr8 series

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (September 5, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Ajmal is world class. I really wonder why some Pakistan fans were mocking the selectors for including him alongside other seniors for this tour. Were it not for him(&Misbah) I wonder if this match would've lasted beyond tomorrow. Just a pity his career started late. I feel our batsmen did well against him though, with a bit of help through Misbah's field.

I hope by now my long lost friends are eating their hats. Had my attack of Mpofu, Rainsford&Panyangara played for us since we resumed Tests, we would've beat BD in all games, but crucially, we would not have lost to NZ&Pak. Particularly after Mawoyo mammoth effort against Pak in Bulawayo when Vitori&Jarvis were embarrassingly exposed. Why on earth an observant cricket fan could've overlooked a Test seamer of Panyangara's class is beyond me.

Anyway, the work is not yet complete. Shingi was composed&assured with bat in hand, we expect the same with all in hand. Chatara is not yet strong enough for 2 top Test innings in under 54hrs.

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (September 5, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Zimbabwe played better cricket than us.. they looked with a lot more intent and purpose.. If they can capitalise on this lead..

I think we have history in the making.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (September 5, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Listening to commentators Campbell,Viljoen&Nkala, it's amazing how they've consistently attacked Elton, as if he was the top candidate to be dropped if Williams&Taylor were available. The basis of their argument being his 2 ODI batting innings against Pak, and underwhelming form with the ball over the 3 games.

The facts are that Chigumbura has been Zimbabwe's best averaging T20&ODI batsman this year, while being second only to Taylor in Tests, but significantly much more than Hami&the rest. In our previous Test against BD, Elton was our star performer with bat&ball. All forms combined his average ranks best. How on earth was he a candidate to be dropped? Particularly after standing up to India, when everyone was failing, just a few weeks prior to Pakistan.

I stark contrast. Malcolm, who had been having a shocker for a long time prior to this, & was the worst performing batsman for us in all forms of the game somehow escaped their notice. No way! Elton will be our #6 for a long time.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

good batting by ZIM middle order. and they have handy lead. if they can get some wickets before paksitan reach 79 then it will be in their favour.

Pakistan will have to bat well to set a good target.

Worry for paksitan that Rehman has not been at his best. Hafeez should also bowl.

Khurram Manzoor just got out again. I think its a bit harsh again like in 1st innings. both time height may be the issue

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