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Pakistan 74 ahead

Harare: Pakistan led by 74 runs with nine second innings wickets standing at close on the second day of the first Test against Zimbabwe here Sunday.

Making 285 in their first innings, Pakistan bowled Zimbabwe out for 225. But they lost Saleem Elahi for a duck in their second innings just before the umpires called off play due to bad light. Pakistan were 14 for one, Taufeeq Umar scoring all the runs.

Pacemen Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Mohammed Sami ripped through the Zimbabwe top order. The home side were 43 for three as Dion Ebrahim, Hamilton Masakadza and Alistair Campbell heralded a collapse with their dismissals.

The Flower brothers, Grant and Andy made 31 and 29 respectively to put the brakes on Pakistan. Andy was unlucky to be given out caught down the leg side when the ball appeared to have struck his thigh.

It fell to wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu and Andy Blignaut to keep Zimbabwe in the game with a 63 runs partnership. Taibu grafted through the afternoon for his 51. By contrast, Blignaut blasted his first ball off Saqlain Mushtaq for six and another three fours saw the spinner out of the attack.

After tea, Blignaut went to his 50 by hitting a flurry of boundaries before he holed out to Hassan Raza off Sami. Sami finished the day with 4 for 53. It was mainly he who wrecked the Zimbabweans early on.

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