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Late strikes put Pakistan on top

Taylor and Masakadza fight, but Zimbabwe struggled to kick on

Late strikes put Pakistan on top - Cricket News
Hamilton Masakadza plays a shot during his innings of 75.

A post-tea collapse from Zimbabwe’s lower-order laid to waste the century partnership between Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor, finishing Day 1 of the second Test against Pakistan 237 for 8 at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday (10 September).

Zimbabwe had reached tea 165 for 3 after Masakadza and Taylor put up a 110-run partnership for the third wicket, which rescued the innings and raised hopes of a respectable total. After choosing to bat, Zimbabwe made a brittle start, but was steading by the third-wicket stand.

Zimbabwe had made two changes to the team that played the first Test, and the obvious one -- Taylor returning from paternity leave replacing Sikander Raza – paid early dividends, while Brian Vitori, the left-armer, will have a chance to impress in place of Shingirai Masakadza.

“We hoped to have lost two or three wickets less than we did but the score was fine and we don’t really mind that too much, especially looking at the way that they bowled first up,” said Hamilton Masakadza. “I think we had two runs on the board after eight overs. It was testament to how well they bowled and how the wicket was playing.”

Junaid Khan and Rahat Ali, Pakistan’s seamers, struck early blows. Junaid dismissed Tinotenda Mawoyo, caught behind for a duck, with the second ball of the day. Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza fought back scoring 31 runs for the second wicket but Sibanda played on to his stumps for 14.

Masakadza led recovery, being the more patient and confident of the pair, reaching his third Test half-century in 98 balls, while Taylor, who struggled to score, intelligently gave strike to Masakadza as the repair operation took shape.

Saeed Ajmal had been played diligently by the pair but struck in his 13th over, having Masakadza caught at first slip for 75 off 169 deliveries. Taylor continued with Malcom Waller for 11 overs to reach tea.

Junaid struck again, getting another outside edge, this time from Waller, who was caught behind for 23.Taylor’s frailties almost proved fatal as he reached fifty after when he was dropped off the easiest of chances on 49, and sheepishly did not celebrate the landmark. Taylor added one more run before Abdur Rehman trapped him lbw for 51.

Pakistan’s bowlers then waded into the batting, picking up the next three wickets for 58 runs with Junaid racking up figures of 25-10-55-3 while Rahat and Rehman took two wickets each.

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