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Late wickets dent Pakistan despite Azhar, Abid centuries

Abid Ali looked solid in the middle all day long on the way to an unbeaten scoreline of 118 runs off 246 balls

Late wickets dent Pakistan despite Azhar, Abid centuries PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan were dented severely by an inspired onslaught late in the day by pacer Blessing Muzarabani, despite the efforts of opener Abid Ali and batsman Azhar Ali, to make sure that the Men in Green ended on a scoreline of 268 for the loss of four wickets after 90 overs as stumps were called on day one of the second Test against Zimbabwe.

Despite the setbacks, an impressive display of Test match batting during a majority of the day put Pakistan in a dominant position in the second Test after emerging victorious in the first Test against Zimbabwe by an innings and 116 runs.

After winning the toss, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam elected to bat first on a flat track. Openers Abid Ali and Imran Butt were off to a cautious start as the Zimbabwe bowlers produced disciplined line and lengths.

Pacer Richard Ngarava got the first breakthrough for his side removing opener Imran Butt, caught by fielder Donald Tiripano, after the batsman had scored just two runs off 20 balls.

Opener Abid Ali and batsman Azhar Ali then combined in the middle as they looked to build a solid foundation for their side.

The two batsmen managed to extend their partnership to a monumental 236 runs off 450 balls as the Zimbabwe side desperately searched for a wicket.

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With his side in major trouble, pacer Blessing Muzarabani rose up towards the end to make sure that his side had something to be hopeful for on day two with three wickets late in the day.

Blessing Muzarabani, first, got the better of Azhar Ali, caught by fielder Milton Shumba, after scoring 126 runs off 240 balls.

Skipper Babar Azam, who had been waiting for his turn to bat all day, had a miserable outing after offering an easy catch to fielder Kevin Kasuza off the bowling of pacer Blessing Muzarabani after scoring just two runs off eight balls.

Batsman Fawad Alam was bowled next, just one over before stumps were called, by Blessing Muzarabani after scoring just five runs off 12 balls.

Abid Ali, however, looked solid in the middle all day long on the way to an unbeaten scoreline of 118 runs off 246 balls and will start the day for Pakistan with the bat on day two.

Blessing Muzarabani picked up three wickets late in the day for his side while pacer Richard Ngarava picked up the solitary wicket of opener Imran Butt.