Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Harare, 2nd day September 11, 2013

Younis, Misbah stabilise Pakistan


Pakistan 163 for 3 (Younis 52*, Manzoor 51) trail Zimbabwe 294 (Masakadza 75, Taylor 51, Junaid 4-67) by 131 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was down to the old firm of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to stabilise Pakistan after the top order wobbled again. Khurram Manzoor did make a determined half-century in his comeback series but Mohammad Hafeez had another failure at Test level and Azhar Ali fell early as well, leaving it to the experienced hands to start the repair job at 96 for 3. By stumps, Younis had become the fourth Pakistan batsmen to go past 7000 Test runs on his way to one more fifty, Misbah had dug in for the long haul as usual, and the stand had grown to 67.

There was almost an air of inevitability to this familiar partnership, which was saying a lot on a pitch where a batsman was never quite in. The expected deterioration hadn't happened yet, but there were many deliveries that stayed low. Scoring was difficult through the day but Younis and Misbah were assured, Younis pushing and driving straight, Misbah guiding and nudging square. There was the occasional play-and-miss and lbw appeal, but that could induce no change at all in the men's temperament or their methods.

Manzoor had shown excellent composure till he rushed out for a single to square leg soon after tea and was stranded, Younis' refusal coming a touch late. The opener had kicked on from an uncertain start to play several aggressive drives with superb timing through point, cover and straight down the ground.

Zimbabwe's fast bowlers came nowhere close to matching the kind of bite Junaid Khan had generated on the first morning. They weren't able to target the good length areas, where there were cracks, as well as Junaid had. Often, they overpitched, and Pakistan, chiefly Younis and Manzoor, capitalised.

Manzoor could have gone without scoring. In the sixth over, he seemed to have got some glove off Brian Vitori for the wicketkeeper to take it down the leg side - there was a clear deviation - but the umpire probably felt it had come off the thigh pad. He was 1 off 23 at one stage and it was Hafeez who began with confidence, flicking and straight-driving for three fours as Pakistan got through the potentially tense period of eight overs before lunch unscathed.

He fell in characteristic fashion soon after the break, though, poking at a Vitori length delivery to edge to first slip on 22. Azhar could have gone fourth ball, when Tendai Chatara hit his pad in front of middle but the appeal was turned down. But he was to fall in similar fashion, trapped leg-before off Tinashe Panyangara for 7.

By then, though, Manzoor had got over his early nerves, and Zimbabwe had turned to Hamilton Masakadza, possibly to give their specialist seamers some leeway after the workload they carried in the first Test. However, Brendan Taylor stuck with Masakadza for four overs after Younis came in, allowing the batsman to settle in against harmless, gentle length deliveries outside off.

In the morning, Chatara and Vitori also had had few problems settling in, as they batted into the second hour of the day in a last-wicket stand of 46 that stretched the Zimbabwe innings to 294. The hosts began the day on 237 for 8, hoping to make the most of the remaining two wickets with the surface expected to deteriorate significantly later. There was quite some sense on display from Nos 10 and 11 as they defended resolutely and earned precious runs.

Pakistan felt they had got Chatara caught behind on 1 when Junaid ripped a lifter past the batsman's prod. There was a faint sound as ball passed bat, but umpire Steve Davis was unmoved. It would be an hour-and-a-half more before Pakistan finally ended the innings.

Chatara was fortunate again when a couple of close lbw shouts were turned down, off Ajmal and Hafeez, the latter one appearing especially tight. Abdur Rehman ultimately broke through in the 20th over of the day when umpire Ranmore Martinesz decided ruled the latest leg-before shout against Chatara, on 21, was far too plumb to be turned down.

Panyangara had one lbw appeal negated against Misbah when he was on 18, the ball hitting the Pakistan captain high, on the back thigh pad. That was about as close as Zimbabwe came to separating the familiar partners.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nikhil on September 12, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    @Mustafa Fyaz: Mate, Pls read my 2 comments below. You are another one of your breed whose lack of common cricketing sense is just completely embarassing. NO PAK batsman is an all time great. India have about 6 in that category, The mighty Aussies have about 10, England have about 4, NZ has 1, SL has 1, WI have about 6, SA have about 4-5. Your batsmen are flat track bullies good enough to score agaisnt Kulasekara, Randiv, Shaiful Isslam, and those types. They are boring, unattractive, strokeless and Spineless. Their currrent performances agianst a club level side like ZIM speaks volumes of their ineptitude. They have prodcued NO great batsmen. ZERO. They come a cropper against top sides and just kep getting swept no matter what decade they play. (Pak 0-3 IN AUS 1999,) Pak 0-3 against Aus 2002, 0-3 against Aus 2004, 0-3 Against Aus in 2009, 0-3 in SA 2013, 0-3 in Eng in 2006&2010, O-2 in India in 2007, 1-2 agaisnt India in Pak 2004........and it goes on . Cricinfo Pls Publish.

  • Alan on September 12, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    We should get Younis Khan back at Yorkshire. It seems there is life in the old dog and he would be playing a higher standard of cricket at Yorkshire rather than playing against Zimbabwe.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @BravoBravo. You must be kidding. Funny to see Younis celebrating 7000 only! Even a hard hitter like Sehwag reacheee your attempt to present him as a great batsman! lol. He is not even considered in Pak cricket history.BTW, are you a Pk fan or WI fan or BD fan?

  • Android on September 12, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    pakistan should reach...SHOULD REACH 294 by the end of tea. and play about 30-40 overs with a run rate over 3.5 to 4.5 and the declare giving zimbabwe to bat the 4th day and if by miracle the pitch does not do much then aim for a draw. 60% chances are of a draw. I.e if zimbabwe bats well in second innings. 7-10% chances of loosing for Pakistan if their batting collapse in the second innings. now misbah nd coaches need a plan at lunch on how to bat and if there is a chance then when to declare. now after tea or tomorrow before lunch

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    @ imran haider

    are u sleepy, pak was in even worst postion in last match, toght they won with big margin, lets see on 4th day. another comment about YK, impatience, i believe u havent watch must test cricket, he is the most calm and patient batsman in pak team

  • PV on September 12, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    for everyone's information, please keep this in mind while commenting anything: sachin scored total ~15000 runs. 8000+ runs Outside India (average 54+). 7000+ runs In India (average 54+). Also note that his average has gone down by almost 2 in last 2 years (particularly after SA 2011 series). Younis is nowhere around Inzy even. He is not any class. Scoring runs is never a parameter but still batting is all about scoring runs. Quality runs.

  • Idrees on September 12, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    By the way everyone. Younis khan has scored 5 centuries against India 5 against SL and 4 against SA who are all top teams and not so called minnows. To me that makes him a top test batsman. Hafeez must now be dropped for future tests.

  • PV on September 12, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Quality of runs, consistency, attitude & most importantly love of global fans is missing in current Pak players as it used to be with Inzy & Anwar.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    my bro sachin played 198 where younis played 84

  • Android on September 12, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    These are pretty foolish arguments. Pakistan plays almost half the test india and england play or aus. obviously they will have more runs. and naturally they have less time to get used to test cricket. Poor cook who folks consider a really god batsman could not do anything against a poor aussie team in 5 test. Bell flying high theses days is biggest bunny of all time of Ajmal. Pieterson anothet of your great scored so many runs in the UAE series. Barometer of success is not runs it never was. if it was runs sachin would be considered the all time greatest umfortunately he is not. Bradman took that cake long time ago. whether younis is great or not, no one can really tell. Scored that 100 against steyn and co last time he played a test series in SA. for me that was good enough to say that he is a great Pakistani batsman. you can celebrate meaningless flat track 15000 runs all you want if it makes you happy.