Taibu holds up Pakistan’s victory charge

Tatenda Taibu’s brave stand with Kyle Jarvis kept Zimbabwe’s hopes of avoiding defeat in their one-off Test against Pakistan alive, as the hosts closed yesterday on 135 for eight.

That gave Zimbabwe a lead of just 81 runs after Pakistan had been bowled out for 466 in their first innings, but for a while it had looked as if the match might end with a day to spare.

Brendan Taylor’s side were five wickets down before they had even erased their first-innings deficit, and slumped to 69 for eight before Taibu and Jarvis put on an unbeaten partnership of 66.

Taibu hit 5 fours and a six in his 58 not out, while Jarvis gutsed his way to an unbeaten 20 to frustrate Pakistan’s previously rampant bowlers.

Pakistan resumed their innings on 357 for five at the start of the day, and although Younis Khan fell 12 short of a century, Saeed Ajmal’s 28 ensured that the tourists secured a 54-run lead in the first innings.

That allowed Pakistan to put their hosts under pressure, which proved too much for the top order as Aizaz Cheema and Saeed Ajmal ran through the first four wickets.

Vusi Sibanda was again out trying to pull, while his opening partner Tino Mawoyo, who had carried his bat in the first innings, was finally dismissed when he walked across an Ajmal offspinner and saw his leg stump pegged back.

Ajmal trapped Taylor lbw for the second time in the match shortly afterwards, before Cheema had Hamilton Masakadza play on to leave Zimbabwe’s innings in ruins.

The situation grew worse for the home side as centurion Mohammad Hafeez took control, claiming four wickets in quick succession to put Zimbabwe eight down and just 15 runs in front.

However Taibu had stood firm throughout, and found support in the form of Jarvis who grew in confidence as his innings progressed. (Cricket365)

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