Zimbabwe go down to Pakistan in first Test

Zimbabwe – 176 and 134 all out in 46.2 overs (Tarisai Musakanda 43, Brendan Taylor 29, Kevin Kasuza 28; Hasan Ali 5/36, Nauman Ali 2/27, Faheem Ashraf 1/22). Pakistan – 426 all out in 133 overs (Fawad Alam 140, Imran Butt 91, Abid Ali 60; Blessing Muzarabani 4/73, Donald Tiripano 3/89, Richard Ngarava 2/104). Pakistan won by an innings and 116 runs

Zimbabwe have gone down to Pakistan by an innings and 116 runs in the first Test at Harare Sports Club today. Pakistan resumed their first innings this morning at 374 for six wickets, with Fawad Alam on 108 and Hasan Ali 21.

There had been overnight rain and the morning was largely overcast, with more rain possible during the afternoon, but the well-drained ground was fit for play.

The overnight pair continued their partnership in their own individual ways, Alam by steady accumulation and Ali by powerful hitting at every reasonable opportunity.

Ali left to a catch at the wicket for 30, jabbing at a fine ball from Blessing Muzarabani that moved away off the pitch and took the edge of his bat; 395 for seven.The new man, Nauman Ali, fell first ball, with Tarisai Musakanda diving to his right to take a brilliant low catch, and Muzarabani was on a hat-trick.

Unfortunately the vital ball was off line, and the new man, Sajid Khan, managed to put it past midwicket for three. Khan was in an aggressive mood, and a boundary off Richard Ngarava brought up the 400 for Pakistan.

Khan went for seven, though, playing an uncertain shot to a good ball from Ngarava and edging a catch to the keeper; 412 for nine. Ngarava missed a chance of running out Alam as he tried to keep the bowling, but at 426 the innings came to an end, as Alam tried to pull a short ball from Muzarabani and got a bottom edge to give the keeper, Regis Chakabva, another catch.

Alam’s fine innings ended on 140 – he faced 204 balls and hit 20 fours. The last man, Shaheen Shah Afridi, was not out with four, and Pakistan led Zimbabwe by exactly 250 runs on the first innings.

Muzarabani was the most successful bowler with four wickets for 73, while Donald Tiripano took three for 89, with two to Ngarava and one to Tendai Chisoro. With Prince Masvaure having injured his hand and off the field for most of the Pakistan innings, Tarisai Musakanda opened the batting with Kevin Kasuza when Zimbabwe went in again.

The opening pair played a positive game right from the start. Kasuza then misjudged a short ball from Hasan Ali and was hit on the back of the helmet, holding up play for several minutes.

He courageously carried on batting, but was soon dropped at second slip by Imran Butt as he chased a ball from Afridi outside his off stump. The pair did well to survive until lunch, when they had put 36 runs on the board, of which Kasuza had 21 and Musakanda 14.

After lunch they took the score to 48, a very valuable effort for their team, until Ali beat Kasuza (28) with a ball that moved back in on him and kept low, and trapped him lbw.

Milton Shumba was sent in next – he hit a fine off-driven boundary, but was then perhaps unlucky to be given out caught at the wicket off Hasan Ali with the total at 68. Brendan Taylor now came in, and soon announced himself with a cleanly hit six over long-on off a high-flighted ball from Nauman Ali.

Musakanda meanwhile was playing an admirable innings of great skill and discipline, until he was run out. Taylor played a reverse sweep off Nauman Ali, and then Musakanda called him for a risky third run, only to be run out by a good throw from Khan. His departure left Zimbabwe on 92 for three.

This was quickly followed by the dismissal of Roy Kaia without scoring, lbw playing across a ball moving in to him from Ashraf; 95 for four. Zimbabwe now needed a major innings from the experienced Taylor, but when he had scored 29 and just before tea he decided to drive Nauman Ali for six.

However, Taylor and his team paid a heavy price as he skyed the ball and was very well caught by Hasan Ali running back from mid-off, reducing Zimbabwe to 117 for five and starting a fatal final batting collapse. At tea Zimbabwe had reached 118 for five, with Chakabva on seven and Tiripano yet to score.

Soon after the break Hasan Ali produced a fine delivery to bowl out Tiripano for two, and two balls later Tendai Chisoro was brilliantly caught at second slip by Butt; Zimbabwe 126 for seven wickets.

Muzarabani did not last long before Hasan Ali bowled him for two, but Ngarava fought hard to support Chakabva, who was batting with typical determination. However, his batting skill was not enough to withstand Hasan Ali for long, and he was bowled out by a full straight ball for five.

With Masvaure unable to bat, this ended the match, with Zimbabwe all out for a disappointing 134. Chakabva was left unbeaten at 14 not out.

Hasan bowled superbly for Pakistan, and was rewarded with five wickets for 36, giving him nine for 89 in the match, which, together with his brilliant catch, won him the Player of the Match award.