Masakadza buoyed by bowlers

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Skipper Hamilton Masakadza negotiated the negatives and proliferated the positives, after Zimbabwe sunk to a 221-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan – on day five of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club.

Skipper Hamilton Masakadza negotiated the negatives and proliferated the positives, after Zimbabwe sunk to a 221-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan – on day five of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club.

First-innings half-centuries from all-rounder Elton Chigumbura, the Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza and middle-order batsman Malcolm Waller highlighted the first innings, while five wickets apiece for seamers Tendai Chatara and Tinashe Panyangara buoyed the bowling ranks.

A severe inability to successfully combat spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman on Saturday, however, saw the home side fall to a mere 120 all out during an extended first session. Fast bowler Junaid Khan had earlier started the capitulation with two key breakthroughs.

"I think the boys fought hard for the first three and a half days. On Saturday things didn't go our way and the game went away from us. The bowlers bowled really well and the batsmen applied themselves very well in the first innings," said Masakadza.

"We did compete and we were ahead at one stage. Bowling them out for 250, it could have been a bigger lead for us, their last wicket had a partnership. I don't think I would change my mind at all after winning the toss."

Masakadza led the side in the absence of regular captain Brendan Taylor, who was on paternity leave during the series opener. Taylor is expected to return for the second and final Test, which will get underway at the same venue on Tuesday.

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