After winning the first Test match against Zimbabwe by an innings and 116 runs, Pakistan continued their dominance as they bludgeoned the hosts in the ongoing second Test at Harare.
Opting to bat first, the tourists piled an insurmountable 510/8 in their first innings. The chief architect of such an improbable score was Pakistan’s opener Abid Ali.
Abid remained unbeaten on 215 off 407 deliveries with 29 fours as the visitors declared their inning. The 33-year-old shared a 236 runs stand with Azhar Ali before the latter was dismissed off a ball by Blessing Muzarabani. The Pakistan skipper Babar Azam who came onto bat next could make a measly two runs.
However, the regular fall of wickets did not deter Abid, who continued to bat tenaciously. Finally, for the eighth wicket, the Lahore-born consolidated 169 runs with tailender Nauman Ali.
Nauman was batting on 97 after smashing the first ball post-tea for four. But unfortunately, the left-handed batsman in an attempt to chase the wide delivery lifted his back foot and was stumped by wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva.
Babar soon declared the inning and asked his opponents to bat. The day was a memorable one for Abid as with his double century, he crossed his previous best of 174 in Tests that had come against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 2019-20.
With this marathon inning, the Central Punjab-cricketer became the third Pakistani batter after Wasim Akram (257) and Younis Khan (200) to hit a double century against Zimbabwe.
After the conclusion of the day’s game, the home team’s captain Brendan Taylor praised his competitors and admitted that his side could learn a lot from the Asian team.
“We can learn a lot from their batsmen, the way they apply themselves. They just try and wear you down. At the end of the day your bowlers are almost at the brink. That’s what Test cricket is all about,” Taylor said.
Batting second, the Zimbabwe batters were stranded at 52 for four at the end of the day’s play.