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Pakistan win with a day to spare

Harare: Off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq led Pakistan to a 119-run victory in the first Test against Zimbabwe with a day to spare on Tuesday.

Saqlain bowled a marathon spell of 31 overs on the fourth day as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 310 in their second innings — chasing a victory target of 430.

The tireless Saqlain applied relentless pressure on a pitch which did not offer him significant assistance, finishing with figures of three for 98.

Zimbabwe began the day on 19 for one having dismissed Pakistan for 369 in their second innings.

They lost their second wicket in the ninth over of the morning when Alistair Campbell failed to get in line with a delivery from fast bowler Muhammad Sami and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal for 30.

Grant Flower joined opener Dion Ebrahim at the crease for a stabilising partnership of 111 for the third wicket in which Ebrahim played the anchor role and Flower unfurled several dazzling cover drives.

Zimbabwe went to lunch on 154 for two, but Pakistan broke through four overs later when Ebrahim was dismissed for 69.

Grant Flower then went fishing down the leg side to a delivery from Saqlain and was caught behind for 69 having faced 113 balls.

Saqlain struck again in the next over when Guy Whittall edged a high bouncing delivery to Younis Khan at slip to be dismissed for two.

Andy Flower and Tatenda Taibu bolstered Zimbabwe with a brisk sixth-wicket stand of 53 before Taibu was trapped leg before by Waqar Younis for 28 three overs after tea.

Umpire Srinivas Venkataraghavan’s decision seemed harsh as the ball appeared to be missing leg stump. That proved Zimbabwe’s last meaningful stand.

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