In reply to Zimbabwe’s 176, Pakistani openers managed to get to 103 before the end of days play. Abid Ali made 53 and Imran Butt scored 43. Both will be looking to continue with this momentum and score big.
You always expect some sort of a gulf between these two sides – Pakistan and Zimbabwe – when the Tests came along. And the Pakistani bowlers exposed it rather brutally on the first day.

Hasan Ali drew first blood, getting a ball to skid back in sharply off the deck with Kevin Kasuza chopping it onto his stumps.

His fellow opener, Prince Masvaure didn’t last long either, having poked at a Shaheen Afridi delivery with his feet going nowhere, thus outside-edging it down second slip’s throat. The early blows meant that Tarisai Musakanda and Taylor went into a shell in their quest to see out this opening spell, so much so that they even played out five maiden overs on the trot.

The left-arm spinner, Nauman Ali, saw Musakanda break the pattern and slog one into long-on. However, a couple of balls later, he played entirely down the wrong line to an arm ball, that ended up going through his bat-pad defence and clean him up. Hasan Ali – with his bowling end changed – struck in the very next over, this time with a full floaty delivery outside off that Taylor just couldn’t resist throwing his hands out to on a drive, only to edge it into the slip cordon.

Pakistan and Zimbabwe are up against each other in a Test match after a long gap of eight years. Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first. Pakistan’s pace attack was all over the inexperienced batters and have reduced them to 30 for 4.

Brendon Taylor is leading the home side in place of Sean Williams who wasn’t able to recover from a injury to his left hand. Pakistan has handed debut to left-arm spinner Sajid Khan while Zimbabwe has fielded three debutants.

Playing XI

Zimbabwe: 1 Prince Masvaure, 2 Kevin Kasuza, 3 Tarisai Musakanda, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Milton Shumba, Roy Kaia, Regis Chakabva (wk), Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.

Pakistan: 1 Imran Butt, 2 Abid Ali, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Babar Azam (capt), 5 Fawad Alam, 6 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Nauman Ali, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Sajid Khan, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi


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