Pakistan tail counter Zimbabwe seamers

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Zimbabwe's decision to bowl first brought plenty of reward, before the tail-enders kept Pakistan in the contest – on day one of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe's decision to bowl first brought plenty of reward, before the tail-enders kept Pakistan in the contest – on day one of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

On a day where both sides had spells of dominance it was the hosts, without Sean Williams, the one player who refused to play due to a dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket over salary payments, who fared bettter – restricting Pakistan to 249 for nine.

Zimbabwe's bowlers made early inroads after the hosts had put Pakistan in to bat. Tinashe Panyangara took two for 15 to reduce Pakistan to 27 for three in the first hour – although the tourists reached lunch on 74 with no further damage.

Indeed, half-centuries from captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali helped Pakistan reach 156 for five by tea with Prosper Utseya taking the wickets of Misbah (53) and Asad Shafiq (four) in the afternoon session.

Pakistan's recovery seemed to be coming along nicely as Misbah brought up his 50 in the 43rd over by nudging Utseya through to square leg, but three overs later he was caught by Vusi Sibanda at short midwicket off the same bowler.

Azhar continued to bat well after tea but never had a partner who looked likely of occupying the crease with him for any period of time. Adnan Akmal and Abdur Rehman came and went, skittled out by Tendai Chatara and Shingi Masakadza respectively, having added a combined 25 to Pakistan's total.

Saeed Ajmal showed much more resilience when he walked out at number nine but a key moment of the day came when Azhar edged a simple catch to slip, departing with 78 runs and leaving the Pakistan tail to fend for themselves.

Ajmal set about adding as many runs as possible, cracking six fours and one six to reach the close unbeaten on 49. Panyangara had the last word of the day, however, as he took the wicket of Junaid Khan (17) who nicked one behind with the umpires removing the bails immediately following his dismissal.

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