In a two-match Test series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan, having won the first Test, came out victorious by an innings and 147 runs in the second.
The Test lasted only four days, with Shaheen Afridi and Nauman Ali taking five wickets apiece in the second innings. The hosts, following on, were bundled out for a total of 231 runs. Wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva being the stand out batsman making 80 runs, while the skipper Brendon Taylor was the second-highest scorer for the team with 49 runs.
In the first innings, Nauman outshined the home team taking five wickets and this was the first time in the history of Pakistan cricket that three bowlers took a 5-fer in a single Test.
The three Alis, Abid, Azhar and Nauman were the stars with the bat for Pakistan as they helped tourists post a mammoth 510/8 in the first innings. Abid dominated with unbeaten marathon innings of 215. Azhar was the other centurion scoring 126, while Nauman missed out on his maiden hundred by three wins.
In reply, Zimbabwe were bundled out at a sub-par score of 132, Chakabva being the highest scorer with 33 runs.
It was yet another dominating performance from Pakistan, which saw plenty of individual brilliance.
The absence of senior players – Sean Williams, Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza – was severely felt as Zimbabwe managed to surpass 200 just once this series. Babar Azam’s men, on the other hand, ended a successful African tour with back-to-back innings wins.
The Pakistan captain, in the post-match presentation, was happy with the way his team performed.
“The partnership between Abid Ali and Azhar was crucial. In the end, it was an outstanding performance from Nauman too. The way Abid showed character was good to see, he’s worked really hard. It’s a good sign to see the openers performing,” Azam said.
Though Zimbabwe lost, the captain was hopeful as their side was still very young at the international level.
He stated, “I can’t fault the guys’s effort, it’s a young side, full of enthusiasm and wanting to get better day by day. That side, I am proud of it.”
It was Pakistan’s fourth consecutive series victory on a seven week-long southern Africa tour. They beat South Africa 2-1 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 3-1 in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) before defeating Zimbabwe 2-1 in a T20 series, and 2-0 in the Test leg.