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2nd Test: Pakistan v Zimbabwe

Report from the Electronic Telegraph
10-14 December 1998

By Qamar Ahmed in Lahore

PAKISTAN captain Aamir Sohail and spinner Inzamam-ul-Haq pulled out of the team before a ball had been bowled and Salim Malik was drafted in for his 100th appearance in a controversial start to the second Test against Zimbabwe.

Aamir complained of sickness and stomach trouble, but his sudden withdrawal is seen a protest relating to his grievances against team selection and the preparation of the wicket.

The inclusion of Malik - who was not among the 15 named for the match - was one of five Pakistan changes from the first Test, which they lost by seven wickets.

Muhammad Naveed, 24, an opener who made a century against the touring Australians, was given his first cap. Azhar Mahmood, Aqib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed were replaced by Hassan Raza, fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Zimbabwe included leg-spinner Adam Huckle for Andy Whittall.

The changes had an immediate impact as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 183 in 66.5 overs, with Waqar Younis and Saqlain sharing nine wickets. Waqar had four for 54 and Saqlain five for 32 - his best Test haul.

By lunch Zimbabwe were struggling on 68 for five as Waqar ripped through them, taking the wickets of Gavin Rennie, Murray Goodwin, Alistair Campbell and Grant Flower for three, 10, five and seven runs respectively.

Rennie was caught in the slips, Goodwin taken at the wicket, Campbell caught at short leg and Flower was leg before. The other batsmen out before lunch was the centurion in the first Test, Neil Johnson, who was caught and bowled by Shoaib.

In the second session Zimbabwe added 75 more runs as Saqlain took three wickets in 35 balls to get rid of Craig Wishart, Heath Streak, Henry Olonga. Adam Huckle and Mpumelelo Mbangwa were his other victims.

In the debris of that collapse, however, Andy Flower stood firm to make an unbeaten 60, with the help of seven fours, in 260 minutes.

Day 2: Pakistan disruption increases

by Qamar Ahmed in Lahore

THERE was drama off the field but little on it as Zimbabwe restricted Pakistan to 184 for five on the second day of the second Test.

Pakistan had inched one run ahead of the tourists' first-innings total when bad light ended play 35 minutes before the close.

Following the controversial withdrawal of Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail on the first day, there was more disruption as the home team's doctor, Dan Kiesel, resigned, citing personal problems.

Kiesel, who will continue his role until the end of the series, is believed to have resigned because of differences with the team's coach, Javed Miandad.

On the pitch, Zimbabwe's seamers maintained an accurate attack and, except for a dropped catch by captain Alistair Campbell off Ijaz Ahmed, they excelled in their fielding too.

After a solid start Pakistan were 111 for one at lunch, debutant Mohammad Naveed the man to fall. But Zimbabwe took the initiative in the second session, claiming four wickets for 36 runs.

Saeed Anwar, after scoring his 17th Test half-century, was caught spectacularly at the wicket for 75 and Salim Malik, in his 100th Test, was run out for two after a brilliant pick-up and throw by Heath Streak at point.

Ijaz and Hassan Raza were the others to go before Yousuf Yohanna and stand-in captain Moin Khan improved the picture for Pakistan.

Day 3: Fog threatens Pakistan hopes

By Ijaz Ali in Lahore

PAKISTAN reached 211 for five at the close after bad light disrupted play on the third day of the second Test against Zimbabwe here.

Thick fog and poor visibility caused the umpires to hold five inspections. Play eventually started an hour and 40 minutes after lunch but only 13 overs were possible and stumps were drawn when the umpires offered light to the Pakistani batsmen one over before tea.

Pakistan, replying to Zimbabwe's first-innings total of 183, added 27 runs to their overnight score of 184 for five without further loss of wickets. Yousaf Youhanna, who resumed his innings at 30, moved on to 46 while team captain Moin Khan had added another six runs to his overnight tally of 18.

Yohanna has batted with confidence throughout his innings. His seven well-timed boundaries included two glorious fours in one over from Mpumelelo Mbangwa.

Pakistan are looking for a substantial lead to force a win to square the series but the bad weather is likely to result in the match being drawn.

``It's unwise to play Tests in Lahore in this month,'' said a spokesman for the local meteorological office. ``They should have taken into account the fog and bad light factor while making the schedules.''

The first two days' play had already been hit by bad light. Weather permitting, action on the fourth day is scheduled to begin 30 minutes early.

``It's our bad luck that only 13 overs were possible,'' said Javed Miandad, the Pakistan coach. ``We desperately want to level the series.''

Zimbabwe won their first Test abroad when they defeated Pakistan in Peshawar by seven wickets.

Day 4: Youhanna sees way to century

By Qamar Ahmed in Lahore

DENSE fog, which has curtailed play on all four days here so far, is poised to condemn the second Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe to a draw.

With only 13 overs possible on Saturday, poor visibility resulted in a 75-minute delay to the start of yesterday's proceedings and only 45 overs were possible before play was called off at tea.

Pakistan at least had the satisfaction of seeing Yousaf Youhanna, 24, complete a maiden Test century and, having resumed at 211 for five, they declared at 325 for nine with a lead of 142 on first innings.

Zimbabwe in reply did well to make 48 without loss, which should enable them to secure their 1-0 lead in the series when, or if, play resumes today.

Earlier, with Zimbabwe taking the new ball at the start of play, Pakistan lost quick wickets.

With the eighth delivery of the day, Henry Olonga had Moin Khan leg before for 25 after the Pakistan captain had helped put on 66 runs for the sixth wicket with Youhanna. Olonga then had Wasim Akram caught at slip and bowled Saqlain Mushtaq for a duck to pick up three wickets in 20 balls.

Youhanna, though, was still there at lunch and, displaying tremendous temperament and a wide range of strokes, he continued to dominate the Zimbabwean bowling after the break.

Shoaib Akhtar was the next to fall after helping to add 60 runs for the ninth wicket. The fast bowler had made 11 when he was deceived by a googly from the leg-spinner, Adam Huckle.

Youhanna was then on 94 and he managed to keep the strike to reach a first Test century in his seventh appearance for Pakistan.

It was on the same home ground, incidentally, that he also hit his maiden one-day hundred, against Australia last month.

Youhanna's hundred this time came in 277 minutes and he faced 186 balls and struck 14 fours. To celebrate the mark, he hoisted Huckle for a towering six over long off in the next over.

His unbroken 50-run partnership in 48 minutes with Waqar Younis, who made 24, left Pakistan in control when the declaration came, Youhanna by then on 120.

Day 5: Pakistan denied

By Qamar Ahmed in Lahore

MARRED by dense fog and bad light throughout, the second Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe was abandoned as a draw without a ball being bowled on the final day.

Zimbabwe were due to resume at 48 without loss in their second innings, still trailing by 94 runs, and had to bat out the day to survive. However, fog which had covered the whole city did not lift until after midday and at 2pm the umpires, Darrell Hair and Mohammad Aslam, declared the match a draw.

Pakistan, having been beaten in the first Test by seven wickets and lost the chance to level matters, now have to win the final encounter at Faisalabad, which starts on Thursday, to prevent Zimbabwe winning their first series.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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