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Rehman, Ajmal combine to take Zimbabwe down


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Pakistan players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwean batsman, Sikanda Raza Butt. -Photo by AP
Pakistan players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwean batsman, Sikanda Raza Butt. -Photo by AP

HARARE: Pakistan took nine wickets in an extended morning session to beat Zimbabwe by 221 runs on the fifth day of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

Zimbabwe, set an unlikely 342 to win, were bowled out for 120.

Left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan made the initial breakthrough, taking two wickets in his first eight balls of the day after Zimbabwe resumed at 13 for one.

Then spinners Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal took over, finishing with four wickets apiece.

Left-armer Rehman, who followed up Junaid's opening burst by taking the next three wickets, took four for 36, while Ajmal wrapped up the tail to take four for 23.

Off-spinner Ajmal finished with match figures of 11 for 118, the fourth time he had taken 10 or more wickets in a match.

Zimbabwe were in trouble from the sixth ball of the day when captain Hamilton Masakadza gloved a short delivery from Junaid to gully.

Overnight batsman Vusi Sibanda was out lbw in Junaid's next over to reduce the home side to 19 for three.

Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller, who shared a century partnership in the first innings, provided some resistance with a fourth wicket stand of 30 before Waller swept left-arm spinner Rehman to backward square leg where the tall Rahat Ali stretched skywards to hold a catch.

Raza was dropped by wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal off Rahat when he was on 17 but made only seven more runs before he was caught at short leg off Rehman.

Elton Chigumbura took advantage of ultra-attacking fields to strike 28 off 35 balls, with five fours, before he became Rehman's third victim, caught at slip.

Wickets tumbled and play was extended when Zimbabwe were eight down at the scheduled lunch break, enabling Pakistan to complete an early victory in a match in which Zimbabwe had the better of the first three day's play.

An unbeaten double century by veteran Younis Khan gave Pakistan the edge though, and he was later named man of the match.

“Zimbabwe won the game for three-and-a-half days,” admitted Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

“Younis played a match-winning innings that changed the game.”

Zimbabwe had led by 78 runs on the first innings and were still on top deep into the Pakistan second innings before Younis' unbeaten 200 allowed the tourists to declare on 419 for nine, leaving Zimbabwe with what proved an impossible task.

Misbah acknowledged that Zimbabwe had played well for much of the match but said his team need to improve in the second Test, which starts at the same venue on Tuesday. “We need to be on the money right from the start,” he said.

Hamilton Masakadza, who took over the captaincy when Brendan Taylor withdrew on the morning of the match after the birth of his first child, said Zimbabwe had fought hard and played well for much of the match.

“The main thing is to focus on the positives,” said Masakadza.

“We did compete and we were ahead for three-and-a-half days. The bowlers bowled really well and the batsmen applied themselves in the first innings.”

Scores: Pakistan 249 and 419-9 declared (Younis Khan 200 not out; Prosper Utseya 3-137) def. Zimbabwe 327 and 120 (Elton Chigumbura 28; Saeed Ajmal 4-23, Abdur Rehman 4-36) by 221 runs.

Comments (15) Closed

M R Sep 07, 2013 06:07pm

Fantastic innings by Younis Khan. He keeps on performing whenever Pakistan needs him. He has 4 double centuries now and continues to have an average of 50+! It is unfortunate that he was banned by Ijaz Butt for 2 of his best years.

There does not look like any other batting genius on the horizon at this time. I am talking about someone who can score a daddy hundred with some consistency

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Sep 07, 2013 06:17pm

Well done 'green-shirts.' Keep it up and hang on tough.

PakFan Sep 07, 2013 06:20pm

Congratulations to Pak team on winning the Test match. But country's cricket future is looking very scary. No new performers can be seen since Whatmore joined as the head coach. Pakistan's match savior's are still the same players Misbah, Younis and Ajmal. Sadly they have not much time left to their careers. Who will be replacing them? Looks like we are in the same direction as Pak Hockey.

There is already no international cricket at home. PCB needs to realize without competitive national team foreign teams will have less interest to play us and we start losing sponsorship. Ultimately the organization itself will shrink and out of job as we can see the present state of PHF. We should have a program to find talent and groom it to star players. In Whatmore regime we saw only one emerging player Nasir Jamashed. Instead of getting better he looks out of shape in one year's time. Look at Younis at age 36 he can bat for 150 overs and wears the bolwers down. Players need to be worked on BASICS i.e. fitness, hardwork, practice, work ethics and playing for the team.

Karachi Wala Sep 07, 2013 11:52pm

What is there to say. A lowly team is beaten by another lowly team.

Sarah Sep 08, 2013 01:22am

Head line should have been Pakistan team blows away Zimbabwe.Well advise for International team till Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal are playing together,even 120 would be tough to score.Congratulations to Pakistan team and keep the good results coming on.Pakistan should create absolute turner wickets for South Africa in UAE.You have best two Spinners in the world,use them to full.They will mesmerise any team any day.

mazhar Sep 08, 2013 04:14am

Congratulationa to Pakistan team.

MOHAMMED Y AHMED Sep 08, 2013 06:37am

All credit goes to Younus Khan for stealing the Harare Test from Zimbabwe by his brilliant innings of 200 not out.

Nadeem Mirza Sep 08, 2013 07:26am

Congrats Pakistan! Thanks to Younis Khan we survived. Hafeez should be dropped for at least one Test series. Last 11 innings he scored total of 159 Runs @ 14.4 runs per inning avg. He may score a 50 or 100 in next match BUT his technique is not for the longer format. If we persisted with him SL and SA bowlers will have his number in next to series. Umar Akmal should be brought back in test matches. We need some fresh and blood in team desperately.

pct Sep 08, 2013 02:05pm

great comeback from our team..congrats,,some good cricket shown by younus khan and our bowlers it was a team work indeed..junaid khan should had got more wickets the way he was bowling,he is one of the unlucky bowler i have seen, most of his bowls were unplayable but no odds he is a very good bowler..surprize to watch only one comment when we won..just think what would happen if they had lost that..zainab

Tariq Sep 08, 2013 05:35pm

Why has "Dawn" not highlighted Younus's mammoth innings which turned the game in favour of Pakistan? Have they (concerned journalist) got any bias against him?

Khan Sep 08, 2013 07:17pm

Till the third day the local commentators got carried away and spoke as if they were playing Kenya or Bangladesh. All praise to Younus Khan who put every one in his place. Our Chishty Mujahid a relic of the radio commentary has yet to overcome that and be a TV commentator. Well done Pakistan.

Sarah Sep 08, 2013 08:01pm

@pct Dawn is India friendly newspaper ,it doesn't highlights Pakistan Victory properly,You can notice only 5 comments on Pakistan win and 89 comment when Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe in 1st ODI.Also they have biased media reporting as they had time to publish India schedule in South Africa being Pakistani newspaper.Why would somebody in Pakistan interested in Indian tour to South Africa whether is 2 tests or 5 tests.Even Younis Khan 200 is played down by Dawn in its media reporting.Not surprised considering we assume its India friendly newspaper.

sami Sep 08, 2013 10:32pm

Looking at present state of the opening batsmen Rahat Ali should also be given the chance as the opening batsman. As we all know that we don't have a better opening bowler than him ;)

Sarah Sep 09, 2013 12:29am

@Karachi Wala: Pakistan is Number 04 team in Test ranking and not lowly team and 2nd in T20 cricket.

SKhan Sep 09, 2013 07:50am

Considering the quality and ranking of our team, the fact that Zimbabwe dominated for 3/4th of the match should be a concern rather than a source of joy. Since the memorable whitewash of England and series win in Sharjah against Srilanka, the performances are on a downward slope. The most mind boggling thing is the short term thinking of all those at the helm of cricket affairs. Why on earth, you would use your premium and match winning bowlers like Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan and Irfan in a series like this? Rather than preserving them for the more important tours and WC 2015, the management seem determined to burn them out. The series with Zimbabwe was an excellent chance to rest our key players and give new ones the chance to impress but as always everyone from PCB and selection committee head to the coach and captain is more interested in gaining short term success at whatever cost to ensure their survival is intact. This ridiculous approach reminds me of Inzamam and Bob Womer era when Shoaib Akhtar and Asif were forced to play the non important matches and even played with injections and injuries. When will we learn our lessons and handle our players properly.

I know Khurram Manzoor will be dropped for the next match despite being unfortunate to have been adjudged lbw incorrectly in both innings but Hafeez will continue to enjoy the test birth despite his continued failures. Why only a single match for a youngster to prove his worth and series after series for tried and tested players to produce a single innings of any importance?

It is time that we start planning for future particulalry for WC 2015 and post WC. Younis, Misbah and Ajmal would not play forever.

For critics of Younis Khan, he always reply by his performance, if people argue that it was against Zimbabwe then they should refresh theri memory and look back at last series against SA where he and Asad saved our necks. If PCB had successfully overcome players power that cause Younis to step aside after winning 2009 T20 WC and had supported him rather than players then Pakistan would have enjoyed a much better run in all formats.

Salute to the most sincere, selfless and hardworking player Pakistan ever produced.