Masakadza not thwarted by Ajmal defiance

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Captain Hamilton Masakadza insisted a fruitful partnership between Pakistan tail-enders Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan didn't spoil an otherwise impressive performance from Zimbabwe on day one of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

Captain Hamilton Masakadza insisted a fruitful partnership between Pakistan tail-enders Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan didn't spoil an otherwise impressive performance from Zimbabwe on day one of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

Masakadza, leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Brendan Taylor, who is on paternity leave, opted to bowl first after winning the toss. The choice was entirely vindicated after the tourists were reduced to 27 for three – and 182 for eight.

Ajmal and Khan, however, cherished a 67-run alliance for the ninth wicket – pushing the total to a respectable 249 for nine at the close of play. While Ajmal remained unbeaten on 49, Khan fell to the final delivery of the day for 17.

"If we had been given almost 250 for nine at the start of the day, we would have taken. I suppose the ninth-wicket partnership went on for a little longer than we would have wanted," said Masakadza.

"I wouldn't say much went wrong at the end. We were a little bit unlucky, a couple of balls went past the edge and we did give one or two balls to Ajmal to hit, but nothing really went wrong."

Seamers Tendai Chatara and Tinashe Panyangara were the pick of the bowlers, securing figures of two for 64 and three for 71 respectively. Fast bowler Shingi Masakadza and spinner Prosper Utseya, too, clinched a brace each

"I wanted to make sure they didn't bowl spells that were too long and I was happy to change them around. Tendai has just come on in leaps and bounds. He is a good asset for us and promised a lot for our future," concluded Masakadza.

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