Harare: Abid Ali on Saturday broke former skipper Younis Khan’s eight-year-old record of the highest score by a Pakistan batsman in Zimbabwe in the longest format of the game.
Abid (215) scored Pakistan’s best Test score at Harare while Nauman Ali smashed five sixes in his 104-ball 97 knock as the visitors dominated the second day of the ongoing second Test against Zimbabwe .
Abid’s maiden Test double ton is now the highest score by a Pakistan player in Zimbabwe. Former Pakistan skipper Younis had scored an unbeaten 200 in Zimbabwe in 2013 while Mohammad Wasim’s 192 in 1998 in Harare stands third on the list.
Pakistan was in firm grip of the second and final Test against Zimbabwe after Abid registered an unbeaten double-century before the visiting bowlers accounted for four host batsmen in the evening session of day two on Saturday.
Zimbabwe were 52 for four and found themselves in a precarious position as they needed another 259 to avoid the follow-on and trailed Pakistan’s 510 for eight (declared) by a whopping 458 runs.
Pakistan lost nightwatchman Sajid Khan (20 off 54) earlier in the day and Mohammad Rizwan followed him back to pavilion after scoring 21. Hasan Ali was the next batsman to fall as Pakistan was 341 for seven.
Nauman smashed an electrifying 97. He posted his maiden half-century in 86 balls and then spanked Zimbabwe bowlers for boundaries to score his next 45 runs from 18 balls. Overall, he struck nine fours and five sixes and conjured up a remarkable 169-run stand with Abid.
Nauman was stumped after tea, which prompted Pakistan captain Babar Azam to declare the innings with a handsome score on the board.
Blessing Muzarabani’s three wickets, which he had snared in the evening session on day one, made him standout on the bowling scoresheet, while Tendai Chisoro took two wickets.
Zimbabwe’s woes amplified on the last ball of the second over as debutant Tabish Khan trapped Tarisai Musakanda in front of stumps. Kevin Kasuza fell to Hasan Ali once again as he edged a length delivery onto his leg-stump.
Zimbabwe captain Brendon Taylor was next to walk back, thanks to Shaheen Shah Afridi. Milton Shumba, sent in as a nightwatchman, was adjudged LBW as he padded off-spinner Sajid Khan, who picked up his first Test wicket.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Regis Chakabva was unbeaten on 28 from 71 balls and he was joined by Tendai Chisoro when stumps were drawn.
Zimbabwe, after having suffered a heavy loss by an innings and 116 runs in the first Test, will be eager to avoid another defeat by an innings margin when they resume their batting on Sunday.