HARARE: Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took five wickets as Pakistan closed in on victory by an innings having reduced hosts Zimbabwe to 220 for nine at the close on the third day of the second and final Test at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Zimbabwe, who still trail by 158 runs, lost 15 wickets on the day having been dismissed earlier for 132 in their first innings, but held out in the fading light to force the game into a fourth day.
They are replying to Pakistan’s massive score of 510 for eight declared.
Regis Chakabva struck an impressive 80 in Zimbabwe’s second innings that included 13 fours and two sixes, before one slog too many off Nauman (5-86) meant he edged to Babar Azam at slip.
Stand-in captain Brendan Taylor smashed 49 from 31 balls as he tried to put the pressure back on the tourists, but Zimbabwe could not stem the tide as Nauman and seamer Shaheen Afridi (4-45) picked up all the wickets to fall.
Nauman was expensive, conceding more than four runs per over, but got reward on a pitch that is starting to take turn as he also moved past 300 first class wickets with his haul.
Zimbabwe had resumed their first innings on 52 for four at the start of the day, but Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali returned the excellent figures of 5-27 to help dismiss them cheaply and force a follow-on.
Hasan used all his skill and guile to tear through the Zimbabwe middle-order and continue his impressive form having taken 9-89 in the first Test that the visitors won by an innings and 116 runs.
But Hasan went wicketless in the second innings despite conceding only nine runs in ten overs.
Chakabva batted aggressively in his 137-ball innings as he followed up his top score of 33 in the first innings by making his team’s only half-century in the two matches.
He shared an attacking third wicket partnership of 79 with Taylor, who raced to 49 before being caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan down the leg side off Afridi.
Chakabva’s dismissal was the start of a collapse in which six wickets fell for 35 runs.
With Zimbabwe’s last two batsmen at the wicket, the umpires allowed an extra half hour’s play in order to try to achieve a result but called off play for bad light four overs into the extra time.
PAKISTAN (1st Innings) 510-8 declared (Abid Ali 215 not out, Azhar Ali 126, Nauman Ali 97; B. Muzarabani 3-82).
ZIMBABWE (1st Innings, overnight 52-4):
K.T. Kasuza b Hasan 4
T.K. Musakanda lbw b Tabish 0
R.W. Chakabva c Abid Ali b Hasan 33
B.R.M. Taylor c Rizwan b Shaheen 9
M. Shumba lbw b Sajid 2
T.S. Chisoro c Imran b Hasan 1
L.M. Jongwe b Hasan 19
D.T. Tiripano c sub b Sajid 23
R. Kaia c Azhar b Hasan 11
R. Ngarava not out 15
B. Muzarabani run out 7
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-3, W-1) 8
TOTAL (all out, 60.4 overs) 132
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Musakanda), 2-23 (Kasuza), 3-40 (Taylor), 4-49 (Shumba), 5-53 (Chisoro), 6-68 (Chakabva), 7-77 (Jongwe), 8-108 (Tiripano), 9-110 (Kaia), 10-132 (Muzarabani).
BOWLING: Shaheen Shah Afridi 14-4-34-1 (1w); Tabish Khan 15-8-22-1; Hasan Ali 13-4-27-5; Nauman Ali 6-3-3-0; Sajid Khan 12.4-6-39-2.
ZIMBABWE (2nd Innings, following on):
K.T. Kasuza b Nauman 22
T.K. Musakanda c Rizwan b Shaheen 8
R.W. Chakabva c Babar b Nauman 80
B.R.M. Taylor c Rizwan b Shaheen 49
M. Shumba c Imran b Nauman 16
L.M. Jongwe not out 31
D.T. Tiripano lbw b Nauman 0
R. Kaia c Sajid b Nauman 0
T.S. Chisoro b Shaheen 8
R. Ngarava b Shaheen 0
B. Muzarabani not out 0
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-5) 6
TOTAL (for nine wkts, 63 overs) 220
FALL OF WKTS: 1-13 (Musakanda), 2-63 (Kasuza), 3-142 (Taylor), 4-170 (Chakabva), 5-188 (Shumba), 6-196 (Tiripano), 7-196 (Kaia), 8-205 (Chisoro), 9-205 (Ngarava).
BOWLING (to-date): Shaheen Shah Afridi 17-5-45-4; Tabish Khan 9-2-42-0; Hasan Ali 10-7-9-0; Sajid Khan 6-132-0; Nauman Ali 21-3-86-5.
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2021