Maruma and Kasteni give Zimbabwe the edge

Zimbabwe Board XI 328 and 210 for 3 (Maruma 56*, Kasteni 52, Mujuru 44) lead Pakistan Academy 366 (Fawad Alam 101, Cremer 4-83, Garwe 2-78) 172 runs

Zimbabwe Board XI turned in an impressive performance with the bat after conceding a first-innings lead to Pakistan Academy, ending the penultimate day with a lead of 172 with seven wickets in hand. After bowling out Pakistan for 366 - guided by Fawad Alam's century - Timycen Maruma and Friday Kasteni scored half-centuries to give their side the edge and hopes of squaring the series.

Resuming their overnight score of 246 for 5, Alam helped Pakistan get closer to Zimbabwe's score of 328, hitting 11 fours in his 101. The home side held the upper hand in the morning and looked set to obtain a first-innings lead but they let the initiative slip when Imad Wasim and Junaid Khan added 48 for the tenth wicket. Wasim took the attack to Graeme Cremer, the captain, hitting him over the top for six and sweeping him for four, but the bowler hit back in the same over by bowling him round the wicket for 43. The pair had helped Pakistan to a lead of 38.

Cremer finished with a four-wicket haul, also removing Raheel Majeed (8), and Anwar Ali for 6.

Pakistan struck early with the important wicket of the first-innings top scorer Tafadzwa Ngulube, bowled middle stump by the seamer Junaid Khan for 5. A second-wicket partnership of 97 between Kasteni and Bonaparte Mujuru helped the Zimbabweans fight back and the pair negotiated the seam attack of Anwar Ali and Junaid with ease. They waited patiently for deliveries which offered room for manoeuvre, and put them away for boundaries.

That prompted Pakistan to bring on the spinners and Wasim, the left-arm spinner, had immediate success. Kasteni drove straight into the hands of Majeed shortly after reaching his fifty, before Majeed himself had Mujuru snapped at gully by Alam for 44.

Maruma and Sam Mwakayeni were unbeaten on 56 and 28 respectively at stumps, taking their side to 210 for 3.