Zimbabwe 132 (Chakabva 33, Hasan Ali 5-27) and 220 for 9 (Chakabva 80, Taylor 49, Nauman 5-86, Shaheen 4-45) trail Pakistan 510 for 8 dec (Abid 215*, Azhar 126, Nauman 97, Muzarabani 3-82) by 158 runs
Harare: Five-wicket hauls from Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali in each innings, along with Shaheen Afridi's four-for, helped Pakistan to the brink of a series win against Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Pakistan's bowling attack overwhelmed the Zimbabwe batters who narrowly avoided getting bowled out twice on the same day. They went into stumps at 220/9 in their second innings, a deficit of 158, with Pakistan needing just a wicket on the fourth morning to secure the series victory.
Zimbabwe began the day at 52/4 in their first innings, but were shot out for 132, with Hasan Ali returning a career-best 5/27.
Hasan had the overnight Tendai Chisoro snuffed out in the very first over of the day. The wicket triggered an implosion, and Zimbabwe’s lower middle-order scrapped to push the total to 132, thanks largely to 23 and 19 from Donald Tiripano and Luke Jongwo respectively.
Zimbabwe were asked to bat again after the break, with Pakistan boasting a lead of 378. The hosts put up a better batting display this time around, although they got off to an unfortunate start, losing Tarisai Musakanda (8).
The hosts decided to take on a more aggressive approach thereafter, mindful that being bogged down in defence only helped Pakistan build pressure. Zimbabwe purposefully counter-attacked thereafter, and had their best spell of the match.
Kevin Kasuza and Chakabva stitched together a 50-run partnership for the second wicket, although they failed to build on that start – Nauman Ali knocked over Kasuza’s middle stump to send him back for 22.
Despite that, Zimbabwe powered on. They scored 98 runs in 27 overs in the second session, losing two wickets in the process. Chakabva and captain Brendan Taylor had resisted Pakistan in the latter half of the afternoon.
The pair revived the Zimbabwe innings with Taylor taking an aggressive approach. The aerial route was one that was frequented as Chakabva and Taylor stitched together a 79-run partnership off just 90 deliveries.
Taylor fell a run short of a half-century, however, although his attacking knock – at a blazing strike rate of 158.06 – had given Zimbabwe something to build on.
Chakabva looked to nurse the innings back to health after Taylor's fall, and fought his way to a 137-ball 80 – however, there was to be no century as Nauman got his second of the innings. There ended Pakistan's resistance.
From 170-3, the hosts were reduced to 205/9, losing six wickets for just 35 runs. Nauman and Afridi skittled out the middle and lower order, sharing nine wickets between them, and despite the session being extended, play was only stopped when the umpires adjudged the shadows had grown too long.
Jongwe, battling on an unbeaten 31*, had delayed Pakistan their final, series-clinching wicket, but the visitors will be hopeful of wrapping it up early on the fourth morning.