Hasan, Nauman’s five-fers bring Pakistan close to victory against Zimbabwe

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HARARE – Five-wicket hauls from Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali had Pakistan on the brink of their second consecutive innings win at the conclusion of the third day of the second and final Test against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

Zimbabwe, following on, were tottering at 220 for nine and had a daunting task of surmounting 158 runs by stumps. Pakistan’s last series in Zimbabwe was drawn 1-1 and as such a win tomorrow will see them secure their first Test series win in Zimbabwe since 2011.

Zimbabwe were rolled out for 132 after resuming the day on 52 for four thanks to Hasan, who recorded his career-best figures in an innings. The right-arm pacer dismissed Tendai Chisoro, Luke Jongwe, Roy Kaia and Regis Chakabva to return five for 27 from 13 overs.

Looking to wrap up the match, Babar Azam enforced follow on and Zimbabwe were dealt with a blow early on as Shaheen Shah Afridi removed Tarisai Musakanda.

When it looked like the hosts’ batting line-up will crumble once again, a 50-run partnership between Kevin Kasuza (22) and Chakabva (80) provided resistance. The arrival of Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, breathed hope amongst Zimbabwe fans as he paired with Chakabva for 79 runs before falling one short of half-century.

The evening session belonged to Nauman Ali, who recorded his second five-wicket haul at this level and had scored an electric 97 in the match. The left-arm orthodox returned five for 86 to record.

In the last half-an-hour, Shaheen returned to wrap up the tail and took two wickets in two balls to reduce the hosts to 205 for nine. They added 15 more runs in the next five overs.

The left-arm pacer took four wickets for 45.