Zim vs Pak | Alis put Pakistan in strong position

Abid and Azhar notch up hundreds after the early dismissal of Imran Butt

Centuries by Abid Ali and Azhar Ali put Pakistan in a strong position on the first day of the second Test against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Abid (118 not out) and Azhar (126) put on 236 for the second wicket before tall fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani brought Zimbabwe back into the match by taking three wickets with the second new ball.

Pakistan was 268 for four at stumps.

Abid and Azhar came together with the total on 12 in the eighth over and ground down the Zimbabwe bowlers before Azhar edged Muzarabani to gully in the last half hour of the day.

Azhar’s dismissal was followed by a second failure in the series for Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain and star batsman, who drove Muzarabani to point after scoring two.

Muzarabani struck again when first Test centurion Fawad Alam dragged a short ball onto his stumps after scoring five.

Zimbabwe started the day well, claiming the wicket of Imran Butt in the eighth over. Butt top-edged a pull to midwicket against left-arm opening bowler Richard Ngarava.

But Abid and Azhar settled in on an easy-paced pitch after seeing off some good bowling by Ngarava and Muzarabani.

Pakistan gave a debut to 36-year-old seam bowler Tabish Khan.

The scores: Pakistan 268 for four in 90 overs (Abid Ali batting 118, Azhar Ali 126) vs Zimbabwe.

Toss: Pakistan.

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