Abid, Nauman help Pakistan move past 500 before bowlers build inroads into Zimbabwe batting

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An unbeaten double century from Abid Ali and a fantastic lower-order hand from Nauman Ali helped Pakistan scale the 500-run mark before the visiting attack build major inroads into Zimbabwe batting on Day 2 of the second Test in Harare this Saturday (May 8).

Zimbabwe’s hopes of Blessing Muzarabani’s final-hour burst on Day 1 inspiring a momentum shift in the Test were thwarted by Abid and Nauman as they stitched an excellent 169-run eighth-wicket stand.

Nauman, known more as a left-arm spinner, batted commendably for his innings of 97 off just 104 balls, including 9 fours and 5 sixes. He was the more dominant of the two partners in the stand with Abid, who maintained his sedate ways after being 118 not out overnight and finished 215 unscathed.

Nauman missed out on a well-deserved Test century, but Abid ticked off an important box in his still-young career, piling on his maiden Test double hundred for Pakistan through his marathon batting effort. Abid has now scored 844 runs from just his 19 innings for Pakistan at an average of nearly 50.

Pakistan

Together, the duo of Nauman and Abid ensured Pakistan safely register a mammoth first-innings total of 510/8 (declared) despite starting off slightly precariously on Day 2, with Sajid Khan (20), Mohammad Rizwan (22) getting starts but not converting them, and Hassan Ali (0) also not troubling the scorers.

Abid, Nauman help Pakistan move past 500 before bowlers build inroads into Zimbabwe batting

As was the case on Friday, Zimbabwe couldn’t keep the opposition batsmen under pressure for too long and found no answers basically to break the quality stand that Abid and Nauman shared. Disappointingly for the hosts, their biggest wicket-taking threat, Muzarabani (3/82), couldn’t add to his tally of scalps and that only further exposed the rest of the bowling attack.

As he did on Day 1, only Richard Ngarava (1/58) among others kept things tight. And even though Tendai Chisoro (2/131), Donald Tiripano (1/83) and Luke Jongwe (1/68) inflicted breakthroughs, poor work from them on Friday came back to bite Zimbabwe and left no openings for the hosts’ comeback against a more-fancied Pakistan batting unit.

There was no respite for Zimbabwe after the change of innings, either, as pacers Hassan Ali (1/7), Shaheen Afridi (1/16), debutant Tabish Khan (1/22) and Sajid Khan (1/3) ran through their top-order and left them vulnerably placed at 58/4 from the 30 overs of play before stumps.

Opening batsman Tarisai Musakanda (0) went without adding a run on the board and was followed soon towards the Pavillion by his struggling partner Kevin Kasuza (4). Veteran Brendan Taylor (9) and No.4 Milton Shumba (4) couldn’t also last long, with only wicketkeeper-batsman Regis Chakabva (28*) withstanding the incisive Pakistan bowling.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 52/4 in 30 overs (Regis Chakabva 28*, Brendan Taylor 9; Shaheen Afridi 1/16) trail Pakistan 510/8 dec (Abid Ali 215*, Azhar Ali 126; Blessing Muzarabani 3/82) by 458 runs



A cricket writer by heart and profession. Currently at work for CricXtasy. Previously with Circle of Cricket. You can find him on Twitter @crickashish217