Fast bowler Tendai Chatara was the star man as Zimbabwe produced an emphatic performance to beat Pakistan by 24 runs in a final day thriller of second Test at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Chatara grabbed five wickets for 61 to help Zimbabwe register a historic win, arguably their biggest Test since beating India by four wickets in 2001, leaving the series tied on 1-1.
The match was delicately poised going into the final day as Andy Waller’s troops needed five wickets to claim a historic victory, while the visitors hoped to plunder 105 run to wrap up the series.
Early in the morning session, man of the match Chatara, pitched a short one from outside off stump which angled in to trap Adnan Akmal lbw for 20, before Abdur Rehman nicked Tinashe Panyangara to ignite hopes of success.
It was to advantage Zimbabwe when Chatara came back to trap Saeed Ajmal lbw for two runs just before lunch needing two more wickets to win.
Meanwhile, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, 79 not out, the man who stood valiantly between the hosts and victory, was fast running out of partners at the other end.
Zimbabwe sealed the win soon after lunch when Masakadza combined with Panyangara to run out Rahat Ali.
Captain Brendan Taylor won the toss on day one and chose to bat. The hosts were bowled out for 290, thanks largely to a 110 third wicket partnership between Taylor (51) and Hamilton Masakadza (75).
An eventful Pakistan innings saw Younis Khan top scoring with 77 runs becoming the fourth player to go past 7 000 Test runs for his country, while Zimbabwe’s left arm seamer Brian Vitori registered his maiden five wicket haul in Test matches, finishing with bowling figures of 5/61.
Zimbabwe added 199 more runs in the second innings to set Pakistan a target of 264 for victory.
Pakistan were off on the chase that would see them seal a series win, closing day four on 158/5 to set a thrilling make or break final day.