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Confident start by Zimbabwe after dismissing Pakistan for 426

The hosts reach 36-0 at lunch, still trail Pakistan by 214 runs

Confident start by Zimbabwe after dismissing Pakistan for 426 PHOTO: AFP

Zimbabwe managed to go to lunch unscathed after dismissing Pakistan for 426 in the morning session on day three of the first Test in Harare.

Kevin Kasuza and Tarisai Musakanda opened for Zimbabwe in second innings as Prince Masvaure was out with injury, which he sustained yesterday while fielding at short leg.

Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali kept creating chances as the outside edges from the bat of Kasuza and Musakanda went past gully, one of which earned them their first boundary of the innings.

The biggest opportunity for Pakistan came during Shaheen’s fourth over, when an outside edge from Kasuza flew to Imran butt, who spilled the chance.

Kasuza and Musakanda made use of the opportunities as they played couple of beautiful straight drives to take Zimbabwe to 36/0, still trailing Pakistan’s first innings score by 214 runs.

Earlier, Fawad Alam, who was on 108 not out overnight, took Pakistan’s lead past 200 in the first over of the day two as he slapped Blessing Muzarabani through the covers for a boundary.

Hasan Ali was in his usual attacking mode from the get go. The lower-order batsman completed his fifty-run partnership with Fawad Alam on the first ball he faced in the morning.

Hasan took a liking to Richard Ngarava as he smashed the left-arm pacer for back to back boundaries.

With Pakistan growing the lead in a rapid rate, Zimbabwe needed a breakthrough and Muzarabani responded by taking two wickets in two balls.

The lanky pacer bowled a good length ball to Hasan Ali, which prompted him to play at it away from his body and edge it to the keeper. Hasan departed after a valuable contribution of 30 from 26 balls. Nauman Ali didn’t hang around for long as he was caught on first ball at second slip by Musakanda, who took a brilliant diving catch.

Zimbabwe kept testing Pakistan batsmen with their main pacers bowling at the outside off stump channel. Lower-order batsman Sajid Khan, after resisting for a while, pushed forward to a ball angled across him, which he edged to the wicketkeeper.

Fawad remained solid at the other end as wickets continue to fall. The left-hander took Pakistan to 250-run lead, before being caught behind for 140.