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

'Everyone did something today' - Taylor


When Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh on their Test comeback in 2011, Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor both scored hundreds. When they beat them again in April this year, Taylor raised his bat to triple figures twice. But in this victory over Pakistan, there was no centurion.

Instead, there were three fifties, two five-wicket hauls and whole lot of heart.

"The great thing about winning this Test match is that everyone has contributed," Taylor said. "In 2011 and even earlier this year, there were probably a few individuals who got us over the line. We've come a long way. Everyone has done something today."

Next door in South Africa they speak of Ubuntu - I am because you are - and over the course of this Test Zimbabwe were just that. Where one of them left a gap, the others stepped up to fill it.

Masakadza and Taylor made up for early losses in the first innings and when the middle order wobbled, the tenth-wicket pairing of Tendai Chatara and Brian Vitori scored the runs that gave Zimbabwe what proved to be a match-winning lead. Vitori and Chatara took five wickets each but if Tinashe Panyanagara did not keep his end tight, they may not have been able to. Even Richmond Mutumbami, who was the weak link with the bat, was exceptional with the gloves.

This win was a result of the entire machine working and an indication that Zimbabwe have progressed. "We've matured very quickly. We're a lot more professional with what we have to do," Taylor admitted.

Evidence of Zimbabwe's more developed skills is best seen when scrutinising their mindset. Instead of become overawed when Pakistan threatened to seize the advantage, like when Misbah smacked four fours in two overs in the dying moments of the match, they stuck to their task. "We were a little bit more determined this time," Taylor said.

After dominating three and a half days of the first Test, Zimbabwe were winded by a two dropped catches which allowed Younis Khan a double-century and showed how quickly things could get away from them. "In the first Test, when we lost a session, we lost a session badly," Taylor said. "But this time, we were a lot more consistent."

The bowlers were responsible for those disciplines and surprised many, including their coach Andy Waller, who was concerned before the series about how they would take 20 wickets without Kyle Jarvis and Graeme Cremer. "We knew the only way we were going to do it was by being consistent," Waller said. "We were patient and waited for the mistake. The guys were brilliant."

Staying committed is on the principles of Waller's coaching and he believes it paid off here. "This win shows how hard work has paid off and the guys have realised that," he said. "But we're nowhere near the mark we want to be. We're going to keep training and keep at it and become better."

Grant Flower, Zimbabwe's batting consultant joked the squad is used to practicing a lot "because we don't play a lot" and that will be the case for them over the next few months too. The planned series against Sri Lanka is all-but-postponed which means Zimbabwe's next assignment will be February's World Twenty20.

That may result in the steps they've taken forward here being overshadowed by time out of the game but Taylor is optimistic the gains will remain. "We've got our domestic season coming up and we're going to have to take ownership in ourselves and keep trying to better ourselves and to better each other."

The last part of that statement is the most crucial because that is how Zimbabwe will really develop. So-called smaller teams often compete either because of stand-out performances by marquee men or because they are capable as a collective. The more they manage to do the latter, the closer they come to not being labeled minnows. Zimbabwe's journey to that may be just beginning.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Sean Williams has this rebellious side of him that will most probably cost him his place in the team. This is not the first time that he has opted out of the team (understandbly so this time) but unfortunately for him and Kyle the team performed far much better without them. It would not be very wise for the coach and selectors to change a winning team for the next assignment which means no places for them. Anyway, congratulations Zim. To Alister Kampo, whenever you stay away from the team be it at the toss/ commentry or selection it wins. Bangladesh and Pakistan last test are good examples of what I mean. I am quite sure that when we beat Australia in that famous T20 you were not there. He has a tendency of settling personal vendettas as was evident when he left Vusi for that famous defeat in NZ and Hamilton for Kasteni in that other World cup.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    I like the way the author of this article changes from his preview to post match analysis. You would not believe the articles were authored by one person.

  • Ajinkya on September 15, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    Always was a fan if Brendan taylor. Because of him I watch Zimbabwe matches hope carry out andy flowers legacy

  • Hardy on September 14, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    A victory for the smaller teams is a victory for cricket. The likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland & Afghanistan can only do good for a sport that isn't very popular outside the Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately it's somewhat indicative of Pakistan's lack of outstanding players after a few decades of great ones. Only Younus & Ajmal are very good (Misbah is admirable but won't have a long enough career to contribute as much as he might have). Amir can't come back soon enough.

  • Maskurul on September 14, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    chttara prove himself he can change the game any time. this lanky pacer showed his heroic performances against pakistan. a bright future is wating for him and zimbabwe. he has great control on the line. he showed how to smash an innings of a strong team. Chttara who have a great experiance to find out weak point of batsman.Actually his bowling enthralled to the Zimbabwean. I think Zimbabwe will get back their golden era within short time.

  • Android on September 14, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    pakistan worst performance ever... only misbah nd yonis were the once who were really playing their best.... i think its time to drop hafeez i feel like their is gtouping in the team only because of hafeez cuz when ever misbah is captain he never perform but when hebis captain by himself in t20s his ffets start moving but they nevrr move in test... azar and asad needs to b drop to there is no way u can play w/o feet movement in tests. pakistan should hav tried all new players in this series if they would hav lost its oki they ere new. but this team hav no excuss they all should retired by himself... pcb u r dooing the worst job... moen khan wat you did as a menager just sits there nd enjoying the free food you used to talk a lot when you used to sits in the program and talk about teammm.... ???!!?

  • kosala on September 14, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Great for Zimbabwe cricket... With all those problems they going through , Congratulations and keep it up.

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Well done ZIM. they deserved it. They showed good fight back in both tests. Dicipline and Hard work finally paid off. With all the off field events going on and not getting paid, this is remarkable win and effort. they will get better by more tests. ICC should step in and help them to get more tests. At Least the SL series should go ahead.

  • Thejus on September 14, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Well said Taylor.Do convey a fan's regards to the team.It was really nice to see you all enjoying out in the field like we amateurs do in our backyards.After the new coach took over there has been considerable improvements in fitness technique,discipline and attitude.Being an Indian I have the privilege to support a world class team. But I always believe in small teams producing big results.In my office I am called a freak since I support Zimbabwe over Indian cricket team.Results like this which could be rare, fuels me to continue doing so.I feel from now on, the tagline of Zimbabwe Cricket Team must be "Believe! Become!"

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Whilst as a fan I am very disappointed with the performance of Team Pakistan I just hope this would end test career of Hafeez and recognition by selectors that some players such as Shafiq and Azhar need to proof very quickly that they can cope with the demand of test cricket. I believe both are talented especially Azhar but inconsistent performance would not suffice. Manzoor played well in second test and therefore he will have to be given few more chances to see if he has the mental strength, technique and temperament to play at the highest level. On current form my test XI would be: 1.Manzoor / Jamshed, 2. Azhar, 3. Yunus, 4. Misbah, 5. Umar, 6. Amin / Afridi / any other (all rounder required), 7. Kamran, 8. Gul, 9. Ajmal, 10. Junaid, 11. Rehman / Wahab (depending on the wicket). I think there should be five bowlers in the team and also Azhar should be encouraged to bowl.

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