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Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

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    Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

    Finance and Pakistan pose twin challenges for Zimbabwe

    The Preview by Nikita Bastian
    September 2, 2013
    Match facts
    September 3-7, 2013
    Start time 1000 local (0800 GMT)



    Can Zimbabwe put recent off-field disappointments behind
    them and spring another surprise on Pakistan?
    Big Picture
    Seven years ago, Pakistan were part of the first ever forfeited Test. This morning they were on the brink of being part of the first forfeited Test series, with the Zimbabwe players considering a boycott over unpaid salaries. Fortunately, the worst-case scenario has been avoided: Zimbabwe confirmed on Monday afternoon that they will take the field in Harare, with Zimbabwe Cricket saying it is working on clearing its dues before the second Test, which begins in Bulawayo on September 10. If the money is not transferred before then and the players stand their ground in Bulawayo, there will be a bonus of sorts: Zimbabwe will qualify for the ICC's Test rankings after the Harare Test, having finally played the requisite number of games for the first time since their return to Test cricket in August 2011 after more than five years of self-imposed exile. And, irrespective of the series scoreline, they'll return in some style, straightaway leapfrogging Bangladesh to No. 9.
    That said, Zimbabwe's troubles are likely to spill over onto the field. In Pakistan they face an opponent whose batsmen are best suited to the gentle pace of the long format and bowlers include potent pacers and arguably the best spinner in world cricket today. The hosts, on the other hand, come into the series with - in their coach's words - a concern about "how are we going to get 20 wickets" and an unsettled opening combination. In the preceding limited-overs games, their fielding was a shambles too. Add to that the question of morale following recent events, and you see just how high the odds are stacked against them.
    Pakistan last played a Test match in February. In that series, against South Africa, they were blanked 0-3. Before that, they lost a series to Sri Lanka. They'll know this is their best chance to begin to correct their record of the past year, and if they do pull off a 2-0 win they'll gain two ranking points, widening the gap between themselves at No. 4 and Australia at 5. They'll be quietly confident of doing just that, with the shock loss in the first ODI a fast-fading memory given the two easy victories they registered thereafter. They had few problems cruising to a seven-wicket win the last time their Test side was in Zimbabwe, in September 2011.
    Both sides have availability issues leading up to this match. The in-form Mohammad Hafeez had strained a hamstring in the third ODI and, though the injury is not serious, is a doubtful starter. Brendan Taylor's participation would depend on when his child is born - his partner went into labour on Monday.

    Form guide
    Pakistan LLLDD (last five matches, most recent first)
    Zimbabwe LWLLL
    Players to watch
    Tino Mawoyo is back in contention after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out for five months. In their last four Tests, Zimbabwe have tried several opening combinations, with Vusi Sibanda, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Regis Chakabva and Mawoyo all trying out. Still, they've managed only one score above forty, and no half-century stand. In Harare, Mawoyo is very likely to feature as opener, given his relative success against Pakistan - in 2011 he scored a gritty, unbeaten 163 against them to become only the third Zimbabwe player to carry his bat. That's exactly the kind of fight Zimbabwe will be looking for in Harare. It goes without saying that Zimbabwe will be challenged by Pakistan's spinners. However, with the conditions expected to offer the pacers a little bit of help in the mornings, Junaid Khan's swing could be just as lethal as Saeed Ajmal's doosra. He had missed the second and third Tests of the South Africa series with a skin ailment, and will be keen to get back to the long format and improve on his promising start in Tests: he has 29 wickets in nine matches at 28.17, made all the more impressive by the fact that a chunk of his matches have come on the unresponsive UAE tracks.

    Team news
    Pakistan will take a call on Hafeez only on the morning of the match. It is very likely that he will be ready but if he doesn't play, Azhar Ali and the recalled Khurram Manzoor - who was brought into the squad after Imran Farhat opted out for personal reasons - are likely to open. Wahab Riaz, who was also recalled for this series, will probably partner Junaid with the new ball. Pakistan (probable) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Khurram Manzoor, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Adnan Akmal (wk), 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Abdur Rehman
    As has been the case all through this tour, Zimbabwe named their squad late on the eve of the first match. Their 16-man squad had a few key figures missing from the Tests against Bangladesh, with Ray Price having retired, Kyle Jarvis having moved to England and Graeme Cremer having made himself unavailable due to the money issue. Sean Williams was named, even though it was understood earlier in the day that he would not play until paid.
    Zimbabwe (probable) 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Tino Mawoyo, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Richmond Mutumbami (wk), 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Brian Vitori, 10 Shingi Masakadza, 11 Tendai Chatara

    Pitch and conditions
    The pitch at the Harare Sports Club is expected to be not as dry as usual, and Zimbabwe will be thankful for that given the quality of Pakistan's spinners. The ball should swing around a bit in the mornings, but other than that the batsmen aren't likely to be tested much. If the weather forecast is correct, and it is indeed cloudy on Tuesday, the captain winning the toss would want to bowl as the following four days are expected to be sunny.

    Stats and trivia
    • Pakistan have lost an away Test to Zimbabwe only once in eight matches - that defeat came in the maiden Test between the two in Harare, in 1995. Overall, Pakistan have lost only twice in 16 games to Zimbabwe
    • Zimbabwe have played four Tests this year, but Brendan Taylor is the only batsman to aggregate more than 200 runs for them. With 391 runs at 55.85, he has the sixth-best average among batsmen who've played at least four Tests this year


    Quotes
    "I think the big thing is the confidence and self-belief. If we had had a poor series, and we didn't have this belief, I'd be very worried about this Test series. But I think the guys know that they can go out there and score runs against Pakistan."
    Zimbabwe coach Andy Waller thinks his team can feed off that famous win in the ODIs "The biggest lesson we have learnt is: don't take any opposition lightly, especially Zimbabwe."
    That ODI is still on everyone's minds, even Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq's

    #2
    Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

    I hope they dont take Zim lightly. On the other hand it will be good to see Zim playing well.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

      Pakistan lose three in first hour

      Pakistan 28/3 (16.0 ov)

      Whatever the format, Pakistan's crisis man, and captain, walks in to another crisis.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

        As per the commentary , yunis and manzoor were unlucky , got out due to wicket rather than bolwers skill

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

          Fifty Up 53/3 (25 overs)


          24.2
          SW Masakadza to Azhar Ali, FOUR, loses his line there and the batsman pulls out a lovely, punchy drive. Stays balanced and doesn't try to over hit the ball. Timing takes care of the rest as the fielder escorts it to the boundary



          23.2
          Chatara to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, Misbah has been impressive on the drives today and he pulls out another one. Gets forward and has to wait for this one just a little, but he has his eye on it all the way and meets it at the perfect time as this whistles off to the extra cover boundary




          21.1
          Chatara to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, pure elegance. It's a juicy half-volley well outside the line of off stump and Misbah climbs into it with a flowing cover drive. Top class shot




          19.5
          Chatara to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, lovely timing. he errs on the fuller side and this ball, also angled down leg is clipped smartly by Misbah off to the square leg boundary

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

            Originally posted by Moonstar201 View Post
            As per the commentary , yunis and manzoor were unlucky , got out due to wicket rather than bolwers skill


            13.6 Panyangara to Younis Khan, OUT, oh dear, who would have thought Zimbabwe would have Pakistan three down early in the morning, Younis unlucky here, can't be blamed though, was stretching fully forward to defend, but the length delivery bounced, took the bat and rolled back, Younis could only watch it roll into the stumps
            Younis Khan b Panyangara 3 (9b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

            11.5 Panyangara to Khurram Manzoor, OUT, he's been given, that is a quick offbreak, this has to have hit a crack, was angled in alright, but pitched far outside off and then changed direction alarmingly, Manzoor had little chance of keeping it out, even as he flashed from the crease, hit at the top of the pad in front of off, height has to be an issue here, but not for umpire Martinesz
            Khurram Manzoor lbw b Panyangara 11 (48m 38b 2x4 0x6) SR: 28.94
            6.3 Chatara to Mohammad Hafeez, OUT, Chatara's struck with the new ball, good length delivery angled in to off stump, Hafeez, as he does so often, pushes from the crease as it bounces extra, and the edge carries to second slip
            Mohammad Hafeez c Sibanda b Chatara 5 (26m 17b 0x4 0x6) SR: 29.41

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

              Originally posted by ehsan View Post
              I hope they dont take Zim lightly. On the other hand it will be good to see Zim playing well.
              In current circumstances especially with a fragile battling line up, they never take any team lightly

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                60/3 (26 overs)

                Misbah is simply awesome today

                25.3
                Chigumbura to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, oh, seems like that was a false dawn for Chigumbura. Pressure relieving here as Misbah gets a short and wide half-tracker and puts it away with a rasping cut shot

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                  Misbah is playing with a better strike rate in tests

                  I think he confuses between the formats of the game.
                  Tu bhi villain ban sakta tha, "BILLA" ban sakta tha.....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                    Pakistan 74/3 (29.0 ov)

                    Current partnership 47 runs, 15.0 overs, RR: 3.13 (Azhar Ali 16, Misbah-ul-Haq 31)


                    And that's lunch. A brilliant showing by Zimbabwe, considering all their off-field issues. Chatara and Panyangara extracted appreciable movement and their discipline was impeccable, as a result of which Pakistan are now three down. But Misbah and Azhar have stuck it out well, waiting for the bowlers to bowl on their pads our wide of the off stump and every time they did, both batsmen capitalised. Join us in half an hour's time when Abhishek will be back to take you through the first hour of the second session.
                    SaadSidd: "Oh Misbah! What would we do without you? (just imagined Pakistan's fate in the last 20 ODIs and Tests .... had Misbah not "anchored" during the many batting collapse(s)!! )"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                      Originally posted by kaka_in_usa View Post
                      Misbah is playing with a better strike rate in tests

                      I think he confuses between the formats of the game.
                      Thanks cricinfo

                      Farooq: "Misbah can bat with some freedom because he knows that Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq can be counted on to be sensible. In one dayers if he gets out its only Afridi and co to follow and they are not very consistent."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                        Today I am enjoying interesting comments on cricinfo

                        Asad: "There's no such thing as Misbah haters and Afridi lovers. There are fans of Pakistan Cricket and idiots!"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Misbah-ul-Haq guided Pakistan after a brace of wickets on the first day of the first Test against Zimbabwe at Harare

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                            Fifty by Misbah


                            42.2
                            Utseya to Misbah-ul-Haq, 2 runs, spins in sharply but Misbah is not bothered, he is back in the crease and nudging it through square leg, and comes back for the second to reach another Test fifty in his noble task of leading another Pakistan recovery

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe , 1st Test, Harare

                              Originally posted by Tanha2012 View Post

                              Asad: "There's no such thing as Misbah haters and Afridi lovers. There are fans of Pakistan Cricket and idiots!"

                              Comment

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