Pakistan 249 and 4-168 (Younis Khan 76*, Misbah-ul-Haq 52, Tinashe Panyangara 2-15) leads Zimbabwe 327 (Malcolm Waller 70, Elton Chigumbura 69, Sikandar Raza 60, Saeed Ajmal 7-95) by 90 runs
Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq fought well as the top order batsmen of Pakistan crumbled again in their 2nd innings against the fiery spell of Zimbabwe bowlers.
Pakistan scored 249 runs in their first innings followed by 168 for the loss of four wickets in 70 overs. Zimbabwe piled up 327 before they were bowled out in 103.3 overs in their first innings.
The third day’s play concluded on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at Harare sports Club.
Earlier, the home side started off at 7-281 after utilising 87 overs whereas Elton Chigumbura and Shingi Masakadza were at the crease with 40 and 2 runs respectively. The batsmen got off slowly while Chigumbura hit the first four of the day in the third over and completed his third Test fifty in the 93rd one. The score went past the 300 runs mark in the next over and Masakadza became the fifth victim of Saeed Ajmal at 310 after scoring 14 runs. Elton Chigumbura was caught by Azhar Ali off Saeed Ajmal for 69 from 129 balls with 8 fours and Tendai Chatara followed him on the very next delivery without opening his account. The entire Zimbabwe team was sent back to the pavilion for 327 runs in 103.3 overs and they gained a first innings vital lead of 78 runs.
Saeed Ajmal was the star performer with seven wickets and that was his second best figures in an innings, Junaid Khan held two whereas Rahat Ali claimed one wicket.
Pakistan had a disastrous beginning of their second innings when the speedsters of Zimbabwe removed three top order batsmen for 23 mere runs. Khurram Manzoor and Azhar Ali were declared leg before wicket off Tinashe Panyangara for 5 and 0 runs whereas Mohammad Hafeez was caught by Tino Mawoyo at short extra cover off Tendai Chatara for 16. Younis Khan and his skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, put their heads down and started the consolidation process. The first hit two fours until the 23rd over whereas the latter got his first boundary in the next one.
The duo kept on crawling with the assistance of a few boundaries while the home captain, Hamilton Masakadza, used his all bowling options to dislodge the partnership. The first hundred of the innings appeared on the screen in the 41st over and both batsmen were batting at 41 at the end of the 43rd one. Younis Khan reached his 27th Test fifty in the 50th over and Misbah-ul-Haq followed with his 19th Test half century in the 53rd one. They celebrated the 100 runs association for the fourth wicket in the same over and both of them survived the stumping attempts later on in their innings.
The hosts got the long awaited breakthrough at 139 when Misbah-ul-Haq offered an easy catch to Vusi Sibanda off Shingi Masakadza for 52 off 157 balls with 4 fours. Asad Shafiq joined in next with Younis Khan and they saw the day off without any further loss. The latter secured his end with 76 runs off 174 with 7 fours whereas Asad Shafiq was at the other side at 15 as the tourists reached 4-168 in 70 overs.
Tinashe Panyangara was the top wicket taker with two whereas Tendai Chatara and Shingi Masakadza shared one wicket each.
Pakistan carries an overall lead of 90 runs with four best batsmen back in the dressing room and the last recognised pair in the center. Zimbabwe is on the driving seat at the moment and they will try to get the remaining wickets within 150-175 runs lead which can get them a possible win.