Article

Pakistan out to end Zimbabwe tour well

8 September 2013 20:15

Pakistan will look to win consecutive Test matches for the first time in more than 18 months when they play Zimbabwe in Harare.

Pakistan last won two Tests in a row in January and February 2012, when they beat England 3-0 in the Middle East.

Since that series ended, Pakistan have played just seven Test matches, failing to win one until they claimed a 220-run success against Zimbabwe last week.

And Misbah-ul-Haq's men will look to end their tour of Zimbabwe on a high with another victory in the upcoming fixture.

The match will wrap up a three-week tour of Zimbabwe for Pakistan, with this to be the seventh and final encounter at the Harare Sports Club.

In addition to both Test matches, the venue has hosted all three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.

Pakistan won the T20 series 2-0 and followed up with a 2-1 success in the 50-over format, leaving them needing one more triumph to complete a clean sweep of the tour.

Spinner Saeed Ajmal and batsman Younis Khan were the stars in Pakistan's easy win in the first Test, but they did not have it all their own way.

The winners were bowled out for 249 in their first innings and then placed on the back foot when Zimbabwe posted 327.

Younis' excellent 200 not out in Pakistan's second innings, in which they scored 419-9, set the platform for victory though.

And Ajmal – who claimed 7-95 with the ball in Zimbabwe's first innings – added a further four wickets as the hosts were skittled for just 120.

Ajmal's match figures of 11-118 were the second-best of his Test career, while it was the fourth time he had taken 10 wickets in a match.

And he will hope for more success on the turning pitch at the Harare Sports Club as he looks to continue his excellent form.

Zimbabwe will take some encouragement from the performances of Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza, though.

All three made half-centuries in the first Test and occupied the crease for long spells, hinting that a big score may be around the corner.

Tinashe Panyangara also bowled excellently for Zimbabwe, finishing with five wickets for the match, including excellent figures of 2-42 from 30 overs, included 14 maidens, in Pakistan's patient second innings.

After a poor collapse in their run chase in the first Test, Zimbabwe will feel they have much to atone for, and Pakistan will need to be wary of a fired-up opposition in the early stages.

But as it did in the first Test, Pakistan's class should prevail as they look to end their tour on a good note.

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