Pakistan v Zimbabwe, 1st Test, Peshawar

Reports from AFP
November 27 1998 - December 1 1998

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day 1: Ejaz, Yohanna lift Pakistan to 272-6 in first Test

by Shahid A.Hashmi

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 27 (AFP) - Ejaz Ahmed hit 87 and Yousuf Yohanna a career-best 74 not out to help Pakistan recover from a faltering start to be 272-6 on the opening day of the first Test against Zimbabwe here on Friday.

Wasim Akram was at the wicket with Yohanna and had yet to score when stumps were drawn four overs early due to bad light.

Yohanna and Ejaz put on a record 118 runs against Zimbabwe for the fourth wicket to help the home side recover from a disappointing 109-3 at lunch.

The 24-year-old Yohanna's 74 came in 211 minutes with 13 boundaries, surpassing his previous best of 64 made last season, also against Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's bowlers, led by Mpumelelo Mbangwa, began promisingly but were not helped by some sloppy fielding which saw crucial chances missed.

Mbangwa, 22, only the third black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe, finished the day with 3-40 off 23 overs.

Put into bat by the tourists, Pakistani skipper Aamir Sohail continued his poor run when he was caught behind by Andrew Flower off Mbangwa's first ball for 15.

Saeed Anwar, who hit a solid 126 against Australia here last month, hit five boundaries in his 36. But he missed a ball from Neil Johnson and was bowled between bat and pad.

Mbangwa returned for a second spell to claim Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw for 19 with Pakistan on 92 before accounting for Ejaz, caught at mid-on by Andrew Whittall.

Ejaz's innings came off 128 balls and lasted 194 minutes with 13 fours and a six off spinner Whittall.

His stand with Yohanna beat the previous best for the fourth wicket against Zimbabwe of 116, set by Ejaz and Inzamam in Harare in 1994-95.

Johnson deprived record-breaking paceman Heath Streak of a wicket by dropping Yousuf at second slip when the Pakistani batsman was on one.

Ejaz, who hit two centuries against Australia last month and one against Zimbabwe in the third one-dayer, was happy to continue his good form and bail out his side on a greenish pitch.

``It is a difficult wicket to bat on but I am happy that I have helped my team. That is why I play cricket,'' Ejaz said.

Moin Khan made 15 before holing out to Henry Olonga, while Streak reached his 100th Test wicket in his 25th Test when he forced Azhar Mahmood (11) to edge the ball to Andrew Flower.

Streak became the first Zimbabwean bowler to achieve the feat of 100 Test scalps.

Both teams entered the Test with four seamers with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed playing together for Pakistan for the first time since 1995-96 against Sri Lanka. Aaqib is playing his first Test since then.

Zimbabwe included Whittall in place of leg-spinner Paul Strang.

Johnson cracks ton to save Zimbabwe

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 28 (AFP) - Neil Johnson cracked a scintillating century to save Zimbabwe from disaster against Pakistan on the second day of the first cricket Test here on Saturday.

Zimbabwe were 218-7 with Johnson unbeaten on 107 and Andrew Whittall not out nought when bad light stopped play 13 overs early.

Pakistan were earlier dismissed before lunch for 296 in their first innings. The 28-year-old Johnson rescued his team from 115-6 to near safety in only his second Test after the tourists got off to a disastrous start, losing opener Gavin Rennie in the third over. Johnson found an able ally in Heath Streak, the two adding 103 runs for the seventh wicket when it looked as if Zimbabwe would crumble to the pace of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

Harare-born Johnson played most of his cricket for Natal in South Africa before getting Zimbabwean citizenship last month and making his debut against India. ``I went (in) at a time when Waqar was on a hat-trick and it was frightening but I held my nerve,'' Johnson said. Opener Grant Flower surpassed 2,000 runs in his 31st Test but not before surviving a nerve-jangling period on five when he was caught off a Wasim no ball and then dropped by 'keeper Moin Khan off Waqar. He had another escape on 12 when Ejaz Ahmed dropped him at gully off Wasim, before falling for 15 to a Azhar Mahmood catch off Waqar.

Grant Flower is only the second Zimbabwean to pass the 2,000-run milestone after his elder brother Andy achieved the feat in Zimbabwe's last Test against India.

Murray Goodwin and Grant Flower defied Pakistan with some resolute batting and took Zimbabwe to 45-1 at lunch.

But 27-year-old Waqar, who missed the recent home Test series against Australia due to an elbow injury, roared back in his second spell to grab three wickets in four balls after the break. He trapped Goodwin leg before on 29 before yorking Andy Flower with his next ball to leave Zimbabwe struggling on 63-4. Johnson averted the hat-trick with a boundary off his pads.

Wasim got the wickets of Alistair Campbell (16) and Craig Wishart (3) to plunge the tourists into further trouble at 115-6 and take his own figures to 349 wickets in 82 Tests.

But Zimbabwe then began to assert themselves, helped by some sloppy Pakistani fielding which saw three chances missed. Saeed Anwar dropped Streak on eight. Johnson, who hit his maiden one-day century in Zimbabwe's win against Pakistan at Sheikhupura, was dropped on 99 by Azhar off Wasim and the ensuing boundary took him to his first Test century. Johnson's century came off 107 balls in 148 minutes studded with 15 boundaries.

Earlier in the day, pace bowler Streak took three wickets off 11 balls to bundle out Pakistan after the home side had resumed at 272-6. Zimbabwe took the new ball in the third over of the day and Henry Olonga bowled Wasim for 10. Yousuf Yohanna could only add a single to his overnight 74 before he was caught in the slips by Alistair Campbell off Streak. Streak then trapped Mushtaq Ahmed (0) and Waqar Younis (6) to finish with 93-4. Mpumelelo Mbangwa 22, only the third black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe, returned figures of 3-40.

Day 3: Zimbabwe in sight of first Test win in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 29 (AFP) - Zimbabwe were cruising towards their first ever Test win on foreign soil after bundling out Pakistan for just 103 runs in their second innings here on Sunday.

When bad light stopped the third day's play Zimbabwe were comfortably placed on 70-1 chasing a target of 162 for victory with Murray Goodwin on 34 and Grant Flower on 24.

The Africans have won just two Test matches out of 32 in their brief stint in the top flight, and have lost 10 of their 14 Tests away from home.

Pakistan, regarded as tough opposition at home, face another humiliation after losing their first home series against Australia in 39 years last month.

Conceding a first innings deficit of 58 runs, Zimbabwe began their second innings purposefully. After losing the early wicket of Gavin Rennie for 6, Goodwin and Grant Flower put on a confident stand of 57.

The Pakistani batsmen were undone by some spirited and accurate bowling by Zimbabwe. Only three batsmen made it into double figures as wickets tumbled one after the other and the innings ended after just 36.5 overs.

``Its a fantastic feeling and I hope that now the batsmen do not spoil the good work done by the bowlers,'' Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell said.

Pakistan lost half of the side for 34 before Saeed Anwer, who came in to bat at number seven because he had a fever, and Wasim Akram added 57 runs for the seventh wicket, both scoring 31.

Paceman Henry Olonga did the initial damage, ripping through Pakistan's top order with three wickets in 10 balls to leave the home side reeling on 15-4.

Pakistan opened through Aamir Sohail and Azhar Mahmood and were in trouble right from the onset. Captain Aamir failed yet again, giving a return catch to Olonga for 2.

Olonga then forced Azhar to mishook and the resulting catch was taken by 'keeper Andrew Flower to leave Pakistan on 12-3.

Olonga tested Inzamam-ul-Haq with a few bouncers before surprising him with a vicious inswinging delivery, bowling him for 2 to put Pakistan at 15-4.

Mpumelelo Mbangwa then sent back Yousuf Yohanna (14) and Moin Khan (6) in his first spell, bowling the two Pakistani batsmen in the space of five balls.

Only Saeed and Wasim offered any resistance, steering the total to 44 for 6 at lunch.

Wasim, who escaped when Craig Wishart dropped him off Neil Johnson when he was on 19, hit three consecutive boundaries off Mbangwa to raise some hopes of a Pakistan recovery.

But Mbangwa had the last laugh when he surprised Wasim with a slower ball, with Olonga taking the catch in the covers.

Clearly hampered by illness, Saeed then edged Olonga to keeper Flower to end Pakistan's hopes of a fightback.

Pakistan lost their last four wickets off 22 balls, adding just five runs as they were skittled for 103. Pakistan's previous lowest score against Zimbabwe was 143 in Lahore in 1993-94.

``Pathetic, to say the least,'' Aamir said.

``I am sure Pakistan have never batted that badly,'' he added.

Olonga finished with 4-42 and Mbangwa 3-23.

The day began with Pakistan mopping up the first Zimbabwe innings for 238, with Wasim Akram taking 5-52.

Johnson failed to add to his overnight 107, becoming Wasim 's 350th wicket in Test cricket.

Zimbabwe registered their first ever Test win in Harare in 1993-94 and their second came by 61 runs over India at the same venue last month.

Zimbabwe humble Pakistan to clinch historic Test win

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 30 (AFP) - Murray Goodwin's unbeaten knock of 73 inspired Zimbabwe to their first ever test victory away from home here on Monday as they beat Pakistan by seven wickets on the fourth day of the first cricket Test.

The historic victory came with Andy Flower hitting a boundary to post the winning target of 162 for three with two full sessions and a day to play.

It was only Zimbabwe's third Test win in 32 games and the stunning win over Pakistan was their first away victory in 15 matches.

For the home team the humiliating loss gives some credence to reports that some senior players were not happy with Aamir Sohail's captaincy.

Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by an innings and 64 runs in Harare in 1994-95 to register their first ever Test win. Last month they beat India by 64 runs at the same ground.

``Its very nice to win here and I think the seeds were sown in Harare when we beat India last month and this win will go a long way to lift Zimbabwe cricket,'' Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell said.

Since getting Test status from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1992 Zimbabwe have yet to play Tests against the West Indies and Australia but their recent form boosts their claim for more chances in the international arena.

Pakistan captain Aamir, who is considering stepping down after the humiliating defeat admitted that his inconsistent side had been outplayed2E

``The whole Pakistan team is disappointed at this loss but we can come back,'' he said.

Apparently unhappy over the selection policy, he said he would be holding talks with officials from the Pakistan Cricket Board about future plans.

``Our loss against Australia ... shows we haven't got the right tean and selectors select teams by telephone which is not right,'' he said.

Goodwin and Grant Flower resumed Zimbabwe's innings at 70-1 negotiating top pace duo Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis without much difficulty.

Grant Flower had a lucky escape on 30 when Azhar Mahmood dropped him off Waqar when the total was 93-1.

Goodwin middled the ball well and reached his sixth half-century in his eighth Test. His 73 came off 124 balls in 185 minutes laced with 13 exquisitely timed boundaries.

Wasim's painstaking efforts were rewarded when Grant Flower edged to 'keeper Moin Khan after making 31, one of three victims of Wasim, who finished with match figures of 8-99.

The second wicket partnership had produced 81 runs and eased Zimbabwe's path to the target.

Zimbabwe added 64 runs in the first hour's play losing two wickets. Campbell brought up Zimbabwe's 100 with a boundary but was found wanting on a rising delivery from Wasim and was caught in the slips by Ejaz Ahmed.

Andy Flower, on a 'king pair' survived some torrid moments to help his team get past the winning target. He hit leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed for a superb six over mid-wicket to post the 150 mark.

Waqar, who took 4-78, in the first innings was unimpressive in the second innings as his bowling lacked venom.

Pakistan only had themselves to blame after they had allowed Zimbabwe to reach 238 in the first innings having had them at 115-6.

The home team then crumbled to 103 in their second innings, their lowest total against Zimbabwe.

The second Test commences in Lahore on December 10.

Zimbabwe will play a four day match against a Lahore Association team from December 4.

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