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Centuries by Abid Ali and Azhar Ali put Pakistan in a robust place on the primary day of the second Test in opposition to Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Friday. Abid (118 not out) and Azhar (126) placed on 236 for the second wicket earlier than tall quick bowler Blessing Muzarabani introduced Zimbabwe again into the match by taking three wickets with the second new ball. Pakistan had reached 268 for 4 on the shut. Abid and Azhar got here along with the whole on 12 within the eighth over and floor down the Zimbabwe bowlers earlier than Azhar edged Muzarabani to gully within the final half hour of the day.

“It wasn’t a tough wicket so after we lost an early wicket we thought we should bat long and wise,” mentioned Azhar.

“It came off and Abid and I had a long partnership.”

Azhar admitted that regardless of his crew’s dominance there was nonetheless strain to carry out.

“Since I only play one format, it’s not too tough to motivate yourself.

“But there is a little bit of strain whenever you play Zimbabwe as a result of in the event you do properly it is not recognised as a result of it is in opposition to Zimbabwe.

“If you don’t do well, people say he can’t score against Zimbabwe.”

Azhar’s dismissal was adopted by a second failure within the sequence for Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain and star batsman, who drove Muzarabani to level after scoring two.

Babar was out for a first-ball duck within the first Test on the identical venue, which Pakistan received by an innings and 116 runs.

Muzarabani struck once more when first Test centurion Fawad Alam dragged a brief ball onto his stumps after scoring 5.

Muzarabani completed the day with three for 41. His five-over spell with the second new ball yielded three for 12.

‘Tough day’

“It was a really tough day,” mentioned Muzarabani. “We just had to be patient. If we can keep them under 360 we will be happy.”

Azhar didn’t give an opportunity on the best way to his 18th Test century.

Abid was dropped on 94 throughout an anxious progress to his third Test hundred – his first since reaching three figures in each his first two Tests, in opposition to Sri Lanka, in December 2019.

Abid had already spent 17 balls within the nineties when he stretched for a flighted, huge supply from left-arm spinner Milton Shumba and edged an opportunity which was put down by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva.

It took Abid one other 19 deliveries earlier than he minimize Tendai Chisoro, one other left-armer spinner, to achieve the milestone along with his 14th boundary.

Abid confronted 246 balls and hit 17 fours in his innings. Azhar scored his runs off 240 deliveries with 17 fours and a six.

Zimbabwe began the day properly, claiming the wicket of Imran Butt within the eighth over.

Butt top-edged a pull to midwicket in opposition to left-arm opening bowler Richard Ngarava after scoring two off 20 balls.

But Abid and Azhar settled in on an easy-paced pitch after seeing off some good bowling by Ngarava and Muzarabani.

Zimbabwe, already hit by accidents to a few main batsmen, had a brand new damage concern when Roy Kaia was taken off on a stretcher shortly earlier than tea.

Fielding at brief leg, he was struck a heavy blow above the left knee by a pull shot from Abid.

Zimbabwe Cricket mentioned in a press release at shut of play that Kaia had suffered bruising and his knee was swollen and tender.

Promoted

He was unable to return to the sector however will probably be assessed on Saturday morning.

Pakistan gave a debut to 36-year-old seam bowler Tabish Khan, who changed all-rounder Faheem Ashraf in the one change from the primary Test. Zimbabwe additionally had a brand new cap in quick bowler Luke Jongwe, who changed injured opening batsman Prince Masvaure.

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