It just took Pakistan five overs on the fourth day to seal the series win as they won the second Test by a wide margin of an innings and 147 runs to take the series.

Shaheen brought up yet another five-wicket haul while Nauman Ali was the other wicket taker in the innings with a fifer of his own.

The match was set up by Abid Ali’s marathon knock. The opening batsman brought up his maiden Test double ton and his partnerships with Azhar Ali and Nauman Ali allowed Pakistan to mount a 500-plus score. On a slow and wearing surface, that was always going to be a huge total for the inexperienced Zimbabwe batting unit.

The hosts did have their moments though. While Abid and Azhar were going strong with a double century stand on the first day, Blessing Muzarabani’s late burst triggered a mini-collapse. Zimbabwe’s bowlers had another good session next morning as well, as Pakistan slipped from 248/1 to 341/7.

Amidst the freefall, Abid stood firm and forged a fabulous 169-run stand with Nauman to smother any hopes of a Zimbabwe fightback. The opener showed tremendous powers of concentration and let Nauman do the big hitting. The latter was unfortunate to miss out on a century, getting out stumped for 97.

With one specialist batsman injured and a long tail, Zimbabwe were bound to struggle. Losing their top order to poor shot selection only worsened their woes. Regis Chakabva was the only batsman to show some application as the home side folded up rather quickly in the first innings.

Pakistan were prompt to enforce the follow-on and once again, it was Chakabva who impressed the most with a fluent half-century. Skipper Brendan Taylor also produced a free-flowing knock, and the pair’s partnership was the only batting highlight for Zimbabwe in the whole game. The rest were simply not good enough.

While Hasan Ali led the wickets-column in the first innings, Shaheen and Nauman Ali were the stars in the second innings. At one point on day three, it seemed like Zimbabwe could take the game deep into the fourth day and after a big collapse, threatened to end things yesterday, only to be prevented by bad light.

It was only a matter of time though, and Pakistan duly finished the formalities to sweep the two-match series. For his career-best knock, Abid was awarded the Player of the Series while Hasan picked up the Player of the Series award for topping the wicket-charts with 14 scalps.


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