ZIM vs PAK, 2nd Test, Day 3 Review: Formalities await as Pakistan only a solitary wicket away from clean-sweeping Zimbabwe

ZIM vs PAK, 2nd Test, Day 3 Review: Formalities await as Pakistan only a solitary wicket away from clean-sweeping Zimbabwe

Pakistan is only a wicket away from clinching the series 2-0.

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A seemingly depressing day with sucked-in shoulders was briefly lit up by Zimbabwe before reality struck them and their bleak fancying to make Pakistan bat again. On a day when the visitors claimed 15 wickets, Regis Chakabva’s resolve and a better display of intent from Zimbabwe after being asked to follow-on featured at the Harare Sports Club even as there is only one result looking possible ever since yesterday.

After being rattled by Hasan Ali’s fifer, Zimbabwe was asked to follow on, having conceded a monumental 378-run first-innings lead. Already pushed into submission, the hosts’ camp could endure only a solitary session with Hasan setting things up for the team as early as the first over by removing the overnight batter Tendai Chisoro, who nicked him to slips. With Chakabva – the only Zimbabwean who showed some resilience with the bat – edging Ali behind, any meek chances of survival for the team vanished too.

Ali disturbed Luke Jongwe’s stumps with a ripping inswinger that the batter showed arms to. A limping Roy Kaia attempted to delay the inevitable alongside Donald Tiripano, however, it was never lasting too long once Sajid Khan ended Tiripano’s defense and Ali got Kaia as his fifth for the innings courtesy of a blinder at gully by Azhar Ali.

Chakabva, Taylor grind out

When Shaheen Afridi induced an edge from Musakanda only in the fifth over of the follow-on, Zimbabwe looked on track of conceding the game inside the third day. That notion, although, kept swinging to different points throughout the two sessions that would follow.

After his partner’s end, opener Kevin Kasuza played the waiting game alongside Chakabva, but Nauman Ali uprooted his stumps to end a 73-ball stay. However, a stunning counterattack followed from Brendan Taylor especially, who sped to 24 by the end of the session where Zimbabwe added close to 100 runs at the loss of two wickets.

Post-Tea, Taylor announced that he was in no mood to defend as he quickly headed towards his 50, though, he fell a run short, edging Afridi behind. His 31-ball 49 had 10 fours.

Afridi, Nauman Ali go for the kill

Zimbabwe’s cautious approach against Hasan Ali in the second innings was evident from the fact that they took no chance at all to score off him – 7 out of his 10 overs were maiden.

That, however, did not stop Afridi from volunteering alongside Nauman Ali – who ensured that his 97 was not the only valuable contribution in the game – to take Pakistan towards the clean sweep. The stubborn defense of the hosts ended when Nauman sent back Chakabva for 80, leaving a wipeable lower order left to be undone.

Both Shumba and Jongwe kept the fight on, adding 18 from 42 while trying their best to push the game into the fourth day. However, Nauman and Afridi went for the kill, reducing the opponents to 205/9 from 188/5 with the latter striking on consecutive balls to take the game into an extended session. A combination of diminishing light and Jongwe and Muzarabani’s resistance, however, means that they will have to come out tomorrow to claim the one final wicket to seal another innings win.