A spirited all-round performance from Zimbabwe helped them level the two-match Test series with a 24-run narrow victory over Pakistan in the second Test at Harare. A five-wicket haul for Tendai Chatara, three of which came on the final day paved the way for the home team’s momentous victory.
After picking up three wickets in the first session of the final day to reduce Pakistan to 217 for eight, Zimbabwe picked up the final two wickets in just four overs. Despite Misbah-ul-Haq making his intentions clear by hitting Brian Vitori for two boundaries in an over, it wasn’t enough to take his side through.
Taylor did not wait to take the new ball and it worked in his favour as Chatara struck immediately. He dismissed Junaid Khan by getting him caught by Malcolm Waller at gully after the former defended at a straight deliver and a thick edge carried to the latter.
Chasing 264, Pakistan were in precarious position after being reduced to 158 for five on the penultimate day. Early wicket of Adnan Akmal on the final day gave Zimbabwe a chance to pull off the unthinkable. They went on to take two more wickets in the session, with Chatara being the pick of their bowlers. However, when play resumed after lunch at 217 for eight, Misbah went after the bowlers and the scored the remaining 47 runs without losing a wicket.
Zimbabwe played their heart out throughout the five days. Half-centuries from Hamilton Masakadza (75) and skipper Brendan Taylor (51) saw the hosts post a good first innings total of 294. In reply, Pakistan were skittled out for 230, thanks to a five-wicket haul by pacer Vitori.
Another fighting knock from Masakadza (44) and opener Tino Mawoyo’s fifty helped Zimbabwe take the lead past 200. The hosts were bowled out for 199 in the second essay with Rahat Ali picking up five wickets. Pakistan were set a challenging target of 264 and Zimbabwe fancied their chances when they picked up two early wickets.
At the end of the penultimate day, Zimbabwe had five wickets in their kitty with Pakistan still needing 106 to win. However, the final day belonged to the hosts as they picked up five wickets across two sessions and beat Pakistan by 24 runs.
Zimbabwe 294 and 199 (Tino Mawoyo 58, Hamilton Masakadza 44; Rahat Ali 5 for 52) beat Pakistan 230 and 239 (Khurram Manzoor 51, Misbah-ul-Haq 79*; Tendai Chatara 5 for 61) by 24 runs.