Five-wicket hauls from Pakistan’s Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali in Zimbabwe’s two innings took Pakistan to the brink of victory in the second and final Test here on Sunday, and the visitors were just one wicket away from win at close on the third day.
Zimbabwe, after following-on, still trail by 158 runs. They were 220 for nine wickets at close at the Harare Sports Club. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 132 in the first innings, replying to Pakistan’s first-innings’ 510 for eight wickets declared — conceding a massive lead of 378 runs.
Medium pacer Hasan bagged five for 27 in the first innings — career-best innings figures — while left-arm spinner Nauman captured five for 86 in the second innings to break Zimbabwe’s back.
After resuming the third day at 52 for four wickets, Zimbabwe were bundled out for 132, thanks to Hasan, who recorded his career-best figures in an innings. The right-arm pacer dismissed Tendai Chisoro, Luke Jongwe, Roy Kaia and Regis Chakabva to return five for 27 from 13 overs.
Looking to wrap up the match, captain Babar Azam enforced follow-on and Zimbabwe were dealt a blow early on as Shaheen Afridi removed Tarisai Musakanda.
When it looked like Zimbabwe’s batting line-up would crumble again, a 50-run partnership between Kevin Kasuza (22) and Regis Chakabva (80) provided some resistance. The arrival of captain Brendan Taylor (49) provided hope as he and Chakabva scored 79 for the third wicket.
The evening session belonged to Nauman, who recorded his second five-wicket haul at this level after scoring an electric 97 in the match. The left-arm spinner returned five for 86.
In the last half-an-hour, Shaheen returned to wrap up the tail and took two wickets in two balls to reduce the hosts to 205 for nine. He ended the day with four wickets. Zimbabwe added 15 more runs in the next five overs.
Pakistan had won the first Test by an innings and 116 runs at this venue.
Pakistan’s last series in Zimbabwe was drawn 1-1. A win on Monday will see the visitors secure their first Test series victory in Zimbabwe since 2011.
Brief scores: Pakistan 510 for 8 decl in 147.1 overs (Abid Ali 215 not out, Azhar Ali 126, Nauman Ali 97, Blessing Muzarabani 3/82, Tendai Chisoro 2/131) Zimbabwe 132 in 60.4 overs (Regis Chakabva 33, Hasan Ali 5-27, Sajid Khan 2/39) and 220 for 9 wkts in 63 overs (Regis Chakabva 80, Brendan Taylor 49, Nauman Ali 5/86, Shaheen Afridi 4/45)