Second Test


At Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, February 7, 8, 9. Pakistan won by eight wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe. Test debut: B. C. Strang.

Pakistan struck back with a vengeance at Bulawayo, levelling the series with a three-day victory. Wasim Akram was to the fore on a substandard pitch, taking eight for 83 as Zimbabwe subsided for 174 and 146 - less than the two Flowers made in the First Test. Though Streak wrecked Pakistan's top order, Ijaz Ahmed played solidly to set up a total of 260, which proved adequate insurance against a repeat of their embarrassment at Harare.

Pakistan made four changes, while Zimbabwe replaced the injured Olonga with Bryan Strang, a left-arm seamer in his first first-class season. He joined his brother Paul, a leg-spinner, in a rare double alongside the Flowers, while Pakistan fielded brothers-in-law Salim Malik and Ijaz.

Again, Zimbabwe won the toss but lost early wickets; this time there was no record-breaking recovery. Grant Flower, the double-centurion of Harare, was bowled for six, giving Wasim his 250th wicket in his 60th Test. When Carlisle, who had not batted on his debut, scored his first Test run after 24 balls and fell to Wasim immediately afterwards, Zimbabwe were 86 for six. Campbell batted patiently for nearly four hours and 60 runs, but his only effective partner was Paul Strang.

Streak might have had both openers out that evening had Whittall held a simple chance at mid-off from Aamir Sohail. But Streak made up for the error, dismissing all of Pakistan's top four for 63. The arrival of Ijaz steadied the innings. He added 70 with Malik and 79 with Inzamam-ul-Haq, who hit a breezy 47. Ijaz himself batted for nearly four hours, striking 12 fours and a six, to establish a lead of 86. Streak finished with his third five-wicket haul in Tests, all against Pakistan.

The pitch was developing awkward bounce and next day Wasim played havoc as Zimbabwe collapsed inside 59 overs. He took five wickets for the 18th time in Tests and also broke Houghton's thumb in two places, while Aamir Nazir broke Dekker's finger. Only Carlisle, undefeated after an hour and 37 minutes, showed any defiance. Pakistan's target was 61. They needed barely 12 overs to achieve it, thanks to Aamir Sohail's onslaught on Brain, who went for 22 runs in his first over. Sohail smashed 46 from 26 balls before falling to Bryan Strang when the scores were level.

Relations between the teams deteriorated badly. The Zimbabweans raised the state of the ball with referee Hendriks on the first day, and the umpires subsequently spoke to Malik about marks on it. The home team also accused the Pakistanis of persistent sledging; Houghton was subsequently fined ten per cent of his match fee after reportedly saying that the umpires must have been deaf not to have heard it. Wasim was reprimanded for snatching his cap from umpire Goosen after an lbw appeal was rejected.

Man of the Match: Wasim Akram.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 11-1 (Aamir Sohail 5*, Rashid Latif 1*); Second day, Pakistan 260.

© John Wisden & Co