Zimbabwe seals long-awaited win over Pakistan
Sep. 14, 2013
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe took two wickets in three balls to seize its first win over Pakistan in 15 years on the final day of the second test on Saturday, claiming victory by 24 runs to draw the series 1-1.
Seamer Tendai Chatara finished with a career-best 5-61 as Pakistan was bowled out for 239, short of the 264 it needed to sweep the series 2-0 on a tense last day. Instead, Zimbabwe won its first test over a top test team for over a decade.
The Zimbabweans had Junaid Khan caught off Chatara for 1 and last man Rahat Ali was run out in a mix up two balls later that sealed Pakistan's fate, as captain Misbah-ul-Haq finished 79 not out in a losing effort.
"Beating a world-class team is a great feeling," Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said. "We haven't had a bowling coach in six months so all the credit goes to the bowlers."
It was Zimbabwe's first win over Pakistan in a test since 1998 and first triumph over a team other than Bangladesh since 2001, with the home side also shrugging off significant problems surrounding non-payment of wages and the Zimbabwe cricket board's financial crisis to lift itself to one of its biggest results in years.
"Zimbabwe really deserve that victory, they played very well in both the tests and maintained pressure throughout the game," Misbah said.
Chatara led the bowlers and the riotous celebrations on Saturday, but was backed up by left-arm quick Brian Vitori's five-wicket haul in the first innings as Pakistan's batsmen twice failed to reach 250 — "a bit of a worry," Misbah said.
Hamilton Masakadza made important contributions with the bat for the Zimbabweans, who took a 64-run, first-innings lead and just held on after surrendering a first-innings advantage to lose the first test by a hefty 221 runs.
Pakistan hasn't won in its last three series and faces top-ranked South Africa next.
The end in this game came suddenly and soon after lunch with Pakistan crawling toward the target, and Misbah guiding their chase with his dogged 181-ball 79 with nine fours that ultimately wasn't enough. Khan edged to Malcolm Waller in the gully to put Zimbabwe on the brink, and Ali inexplicably set off for a single two balls later, was sent back by Misbah, and was run out to send the Zimbabweans into celebrations.
The tour has been undermined by their battles with their own board and the Zimbabwean players even threatened to go on strike. The second test also was relocated from Bulawayo to Harare to save costs, a decision which ultimately may have helped the home team as the well-worn pitch was too tricky for the Pakistanis at the end.
Zimbabwe dismissed three Pakistan batsmen in the first session to raise their hopes, with Adnan Akmal (20), Abdur Rehman (16) and Saeed Ajmal (2) all out before lunch to leave the test delicately balanced. Misbah appeared to be taking Pakistan home, though, asserting his control with four boundaries after lunch and pushing the tourists within reach until the decisive Chatara over.
Chatara was backed up by spinner Prosper Utseya, who had 2-62, while only Misbah and opener Khurram Manzoor (54) made significant scores in Pakistan's chase, a batting failure that ultimately cost it the series victory.
"I wish I had spent more time at the crease but all credit goes to their bowlers who put their heart into the game," Pakistan batsman Younis Khan said. "A lot of things have been going wrong for them, especially off the field."