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Pakistan vs Zimbabwe | Alam and Butt in good nick

Opener Imran Butt missed a maiden Test hundred by just nine ru

Opener Imran Butt missed a maiden Test hundred by just nine runs but Pakistan ground their way towards a big lead over Zimbabwe on the second day of the first Test in Harare on Friday.

After a turgid morning session in which Pakistan could only add 59 in 32 overs, the pace accelerated in the afternoon allowing Pakistan to take tea on 261-4 with Fawad Alam, 50, and Mohammad Rizwan, 13, at the crease.

That gave the tourists a lead of 85 over Zimbabwe’s first innings total of 176.

Butt, resuming on 43, dropped anchor from the start, determined to reach his first Test century.

He look certain to achieve it until he swished at a delivery slanted across him by left-arm seamer Richard Ngarava. The edge was gobbled up by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva and Butt was gone for a 91 that spanned 236 deliveries and included seven boundaries.

By the time of Butt’s dismissal, seamer Donald Tiripano had already derailed Pakistan with a double strike as he dismissed Azhar Ali in the second over after lunch, caught off a miscued slash at gully for 36.

Better was to come for Tiripano in his next over when Pakistan skipper Babar Azam drove firmly to Roy Kaia at a unorthodox short mid-on to record his first ever golden duck in Test cricket.

With 99 runs and three wickets the afternoon offered a step up in tempo from a grim morning session during which the openers struggled to build on their overnight 103 without loss.

Butt, playing his third Test, and Abid could add only 10 runs in the first 10 overs — eight of the first 14 overs were maidens.

With the introduction of Tendai Chisoro’s left-arm spin, Abid retreated into his shell completely before an attempted drive found the edge of the bat.

Brendan Taylor juggled the chance at slip before pouching it to end Abid’s innings of 60, which last 140 balls and included 10 fours, and an opening partnership of 115.

The first boundary of the day arrived three overs later, in the 18th over of the morning, when Azhar clipped Donald Tiripano through the on-side.

The scores: Zimbabwe 176 vs Pakistan 374/6 in 120 overs (Imran Butt 91, Abid Ali 60, Fawad Alam 108 batting, Mohd. Rizwan 45, Donald Tiripano 3/89).

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