Pakistan took total control on the second day of the second Test against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Saturday, outclassing the home side with both bat and ball to take a big step towards sealing a 2-0 series victory.
Zimbabwe were 52 for four at the close in reply to Pakistan’s 510 for eight declared, 458 runs behind.
Opening batsman Abid Ali made 215 not out and Nauman Ali slammed 97 before being stumped off a wide.
The Zimbabwe innings got off to a bad start when 36-year-old debutant Tabish Khan struck in his first over before a run had been scored.
Three more wickets fell before the close and Zimbabwe looked in desperate trouble with Roy Kaia not coming out to bat after being struck a heavy blow on his left knee while fielding at short leg on Friday.
Kaia was Zimbabwe’s top-scorer with 48 when Zimbabwe were routed by an innings and 116 runs in the first Test of the two-match series.
He did not return to the field and seemed to be walking with difficulty on a heavily-strapped leg on the boundary edge on Saturday.
Zimbabwe went into the match with three leading batsmen missing because of injury.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers competed reasonably well until lunch on Saturday but took a hammering during the afternoon as Abid and Nauman plundered 169 off 199 balls for the eighth wicket.
The innings ended in bizarre circumstances.
Nauman was 93 not out at tea. He hit the first ball after the interval for four but lifted his back foot after left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro bowled a wide.
Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva reacted quickly and took off the bails, with a television replay confirming that Nauman was out.
He had hit 97 off 104 balls with five sixes and nine fours.
Having scored most of his runs behind or square of the wicket in scoring his first 150, Abid blossomed with some handsome drives during the afternoon.
Abid faced 407 balls and hit 29 fours in beating his previous highest score in Tests of 174 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2019/20.
Tabish, a veteran of 598 wickets in 137 first-class matches, shared the new ball with Shaheen Shah Afridi, who started with a maiden over.
Tabish set up Tarisai Masakanda with a series of deliveries outside the off stump then trapped the batsman leg before wicket with a full delivery which snaked back.
Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and off-spinner Sajid Khan all took wickets as only Regis Chakabva, on 28 not out, was able to reach double figures.