Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Harare, 5th day September 14, 2013

Zimbawe square series with historic win


Zimbabwe 294 (Masakadza 75, Taylor 51, Junaid 4-67) and 199 (Mawoyo 58, Rahat 5-52) beat Pakistan 230 (Younis 77, Manzoor 51, Vitori 5-61) and 239 (Misbah 79*, Manzoor 54, Chatara 5-61) by 24 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It took a long time coming. The last time Zimbabwe won a Test against a team other than Bangladesh was in 2001, but they stayed patient through the final day even as Misbah-ul-Haq threatened to dash their hopes to win the second Test and square the two-match series.

Zimbabwe began the day just five wickets away. Pakistan weren't too far either: they needed 106 with Misbah still around. By lunch it became two wickets and 47 runs with Misbah still fighting it out. However, despite some quick runs post lunch it took Zimbabwe just one over with the new ball to mop up the Pakistan tail and spark wild celebrations in the ground, in the dressing room, and possibly all over Harare. Tendai Chatara bowled that over, completing his maiden Test five-for.

When the teams started after lunch, there were still four overs to come with the old ball, and Misbah was keen to make the most of it. He lifted the second ball of the second session over the umpire's head, but was fortunate it dropped just short of a diving mid-on fielder. Misbah curtailed his instincts for the next two overs, taking singles towards the end of each as he shielded Junaid Khan from the strike. In the 79th over, he pressed forward and blasted a full delivery over extra cover, then stole a couple of runs to deep cover before walking down the pitch and driving another full delivery past midwicket to the boundary. Off the fifth ball, he took a single to make it 11 off the over. In the 80th, he scored two more boundaries, but crucially for Zimbabwe, the second came off the last delivery, which meant Junaid would be exposed to the new-ball.

Chatara, who had taken two wickets earlier in the day, was entrusted with the new ball and his first delivery - an outswinger past the edge - set the tone as the cordon readied themselves. It didn't take long as Junaid got a thick edge of the fourth delivery, straight to Malcolm Waller at gully. Rahat Ali was the new batsman, and was on strike. He, too, got an away-going delivery and was lucky his edge fell just short of Waller. Misbah, either sensing it wasn't safe to leave the No. 11 even for one delivery or thinking the ricochet had gone far enough for them to take two runs, charged down the other end. He had one ball to face, and he had to make sure he kept the strike for the next over.

Mishah pushed the last ball softly towards cover, but after taking a couple of steps, he realised the fielder was too close. He tried to send the charging Rahat back, but by that time it was too late. The fielder lobbed the ball to the non-striker's end to complete an easy run-out, and the team erupted in ecstasy after completing their third Test win against Pakistan.

The start of the day was more sedate and planned. The home team didn't show any signs of restlessness as they stuck to their disciplined lines outside off and preyed on batsmen's patience. Adnan Akmal didn't last too long, falling in the fourth over of the morning to Chatara. Abdur Rehman provided more stubborn resistance. He partnered Misbah for 16 overs, but the stand didn't really threaten Zimbabwe as only 34 runs were scored.

Towards the end of that partnership, Rehman showed the first signs that Pakistan were getting a move on when he charged down the pitch against Prosper Utseya and smashed for four over mid-on. His eagerness to score - he almost drove a slower delivery straight to cover in the next over - finally consumed him as he poked at a length delivery, and was caught behind. Zimbabwe had an opening, and they widened it further with the wicket of Saeed Ajmal late in the session. Chatara pitched it just short of a length and got it to sharply jag back into Ajmal, who was hit in front of off as the ball stayed low. The bowler then sprinted towards the boundary in celebration knowing the team was slowly inching close.

The celebration paled in comparison with the scenes the eventual win brought about. The magnitude of this win for a team that was not even ranked in the ICC Test team rankings before the series, in circumstances that were testing the fabric of the game in the country, is huge. The signs were there. The team won a match in the ODI series, and competed hard in the first Test only to lose it at the end to some individual brilliance. There was a bit of Cool Runnings about it; only that the Zimbabwe team went one better than the Jamaican bobsleigh team to emerge winners.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harry on September 17, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    Well done Zim! They played hard competitive cricket and overcame the individual brilliance of Ajmal, Younis and Misbah. Zim can only get better by playing more tests against the top ranked teams as they have the drive to succeed.

    For those who are calling for Misbah to change tactics or quit - how about PCB get some quality batsmen in the team so he can play freely. He is stuck with below par players or new players still to establish at test level. He is carrying Pak right now like VVS used to do so often for Ind. Why is Umar Gul not in the team?

  • asad on September 16, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    to prove themselves in FC to get back in the test team. They should also make Nasir play as a test opener cuz he is left handed and will probably do well in UAE. Ahmed Shehzad doesn't have a bad FC average as well and should be considered for a test opener. Pakistan should also try to put one of Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood in the test team so that they can provide a boost in the run rate and finish the match well. In wicket keeping no matter if Pakistan choose Sarfraz, Akmal bros or Mohammad Rizwan they are all right handed batsmen. But Mohammad Rizwan or Sarfraz should be given a chance in test wicket keeping and U. Akmal should be just a batsman. with all that said Pak's batting line should be something like this.

    1 and 2. Nasir Jamshed/Ahmed Shehzad/Taufeeq Umar, 3.Haris Sohail, 4.Younis Khan, 5.Fawad Alam/Umar Akmal/Sohaib Maqsood, 6.Misbah-ul-haq, 7.Mohammad Rizwan/Sarfraz Ahmed/Adnan Akmal, 8.Rahat Ali/ Umar Gul, 9.Saeed Ajmal, 10.Abdur Rehman/Zulfiqar Babar, 11.Junaid Khan

  • asad on September 16, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    A cause for Pakistan's downfall in this test could be how repetitive and predictable the team was. All of the specialist batsmen on the team were right handers and the one man in the squad who was left handed (Shan Masood) was never given a chance. That meant that any Zimbabwe bowlers who were effective against right handers would take easy wickets. SA's bowling attack is even more dangerous for right handers. Pakistan's spin and fast bowling was balanced with one right handed spinner and fast bowler and one left handed spinner and fast bowler. But the thing is that all 4 of the fast bowlers who were selected have played very few tests; Junaid(11), Wahab(7), Rahat(4) and Ehsan(1). So they will want to get Umar Gul who has 47 tests. When it comes to batting then Pakistan need some left hand batsmen to combat SA's bowlers. 2 young and talented batsmen are Fawad Alam and Haris Sohail who both average 50+ in FC. These guys should be brought in instead of Azhar and Asad who will have cont..

  • asad on September 16, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Pakistani players need to learn how to make singles and rotate strike so that they can relieve some pressure and keep the runs flowing. If they knew how to do this then not only this test but but many other tests and ODIs would have been won by Pakistan. In this test in the second innings the top four except for Azhar were mainly scoring runs off 4s and not singles or doubles. There was many run outs for Pakistan in the test series as well including the one that won it for Zimbabwe. Pakistani batsmen should know when to run and when not to and it shouldn't be block or four. Pakistani tail enders should also learn how to bat so that they can score about 20 runs each pretty consistently.

  • asad on September 16, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Pakistan really disappointed in this match and now Moin Khan is saying it wasn't that bad cuz they only lost 2/7 matches. Pakistan is very unlucky to have these kinds of people who don't accept there mistakes and say something is alright when it clearly isn't. Judging by Moin's comments if he was in charge Hafeez would still not be dropped. PCB and selectors have to learn that being humiliated in the Champions trophy then losing to SA and struggling against Zimbabwe can't be made up by only beating WI. If the PCB is like this then definitely the players will think that only mediocre performances are enough as long as you've done good against India or done good in the past.

  • Iqbal on September 16, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    ICC should take the Pakistan's test statuship away from them, and give it to Afganistan.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Whoo hoo, hoo, am so relieved. Well done Zim for holding your nerve to the end. Gosh it feels like we won everything even though we didn't but I am too happy to care. Well played. Now if ZC admin could get their house in order so we can host Sri Lanka and have some kind of continuity please.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Why dont these Pakistan supporters here just agree that Zimbabwe played the better cricket in this test and let it go? Do they really have to say that their Pakistan team was bad? You win some and you lose some.

  • FAHIM on September 15, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    Ah.. reminds me of Younis Khan. He once said that ICC should revoke Bangladesh's test status and give it to Afghanistan instead for loosing a test match against Zimbabwe. May I request the same thing now? Shall we revoke pakistan from test cricket and allow afghanistan to play against the big boys? :P Cricketers should learn to be respectful to other teams. Because you never know, you might be in the same position couple of months from now? :)

  • Shanmugam on September 15, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    @Faizan Khan, what has Pak. achieved in the last few years other than that 3-0 win over England. I do concede that Pak. were too good for Eng. in that series who looked clueless against Ajmal. But, Eng. improved slowly but surely against spin and managed a draw in SL and a win in India (something that Pak. can only dream). Pak, OTOH, lost to SL and were absolutely creamed by SA. But, Pak. fans continued to say that they were the only team that was capable of beating SA. All along, some of us were saying that Pak. needs to perform all over the world and Pak. fans were blowing their trumpets too early. Now, this defeat to Zim. has shown their true place in the cricketing world. They deserve their #6 ranking.