NEW: Advantage Pakistan

29 Apr, 2021 - 18:04 0 Views
NEW: Advantage Pakistan

The Sunday Mail

THE Chevrons once again put their batting frailties on display for all to see, conceding the opening proceedings of their first Test against Pakistan.

Zimbabwe may have controlled whether or not to bat after Brendan Taylor called correctly at the toss, but little else was in their control afterwards.

Little resistance after lunch saw the home side bundled out for 176 after a devastatingly effective old ball spell from Hasan Ali guaranteed any hopes Zimbabwe harboured of a more substantial revival would be swiftly extinguished.

The tail provided brief, entertaining resistance, but the carefree approach they took was, by design, short term, and Shaheen Afridi also joined Hasan’s party.

Both bowlers each finished with four wickets.

They included Afridi’s 50th Test scalp in his 16th Test, one quicker than Wasim Akram, with Hasan just three wickets short of the same mark.

Hasan would follow up his two wickets with the new ball with another two in the middle, removing top scorer Roy Kaia two runs shy of a half-century (48) with a pinpoint yorker, and putting paid to Regis Chakabva (19) moments later.

Before that, Kaia had accumulated a spirited 59-run stand with Milton Shumba (27), the only sustained phase of the innings where the batsmen looked untroubled, and Pakistan slightly bereft of ideas.

The partnership continued after lunch in the same vein as it had concluded before, and looked, slowly, to be digging Zimbabwe out of the pit the top order had left them in.

But when Pakistan couldn’t dismiss them, Zimbabwe were kind enough to offer a sacrifice anyway.

Shumba set off for a single, within the circle, there was no need or possibility for, and left himself stranded in the middle of the crease, with even a dive failing to redeem him.

Kaia soldiered on briefly with Chakabva, but after Hasan’s double blow, it was left to the bowlers to scrape together a total as close to 200 as their abilities and wiles would muster.

Donald Tiripano (28) frustrated Pakistan with the reverse sweep for a while, interspersed with some eye-catchingly good conventional shots, ending up as his side’s second highest scorer.

Blessing Muzarabani whacked Shaheen over cover enroute to an entertaining 7-ball 14.

The final three wickets added a useful 45 runs.

At the close of play, Pakistan were 103 for the loss of no wicket, and trailing by 73 runs.

Openers Imran Butt and Abid Ali were on 43 and 56 runs respectively. – Cricinfo/Sports Reporter

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